Wednesday 13 November 2019

Dublin woman who sued father for sexual assault awarded €375,000

Ailish Smith leaves court. Photo: Courtpix
Ailish Smith leaves court. Photo: Courtpix

Ray Managh

A 38-year-old Dublin woman, who sued her dad for damages for sexual assault between the age of two and 12, has been awarded €375,000 in the High Court today.

Ailish Smith, of Templeview Lawn, Clarehall, Dublin, consented during the trial to the waiving of her anonymity so that her father could be named in the media.

Her father, Gerard Smith, of Magenta Hall, Santry, Dublin, was convicted and sentenced in 2006 to six years imprisonment with two years suspended.

He had pleaded guilty to five sample charges relating to the most serious incidents of abuse of his daughter in the 1980s when his wife was out of the house.

Mr Justice Eamon de Valera told Ms Smith’s barrister Sean O’Siothchain that he would have awarded her €450,000 damages, similar to an award he had made in an earlier sexual assault case.

He said the Supreme Court had capped that award at €375,000 and in line with that ruling he was awarding Ms Smith that figure together with costs.

Ms Smith had told the court that the abuse, which had stopped at the age of 12, had a devastating effect on her.

The judge today dismissed an application that Ms Smith’s claim was out of time and he ruled she was entitled to maintain her claim against her father.

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