Sunday 18 February 2018

Father found guilty of raping his daughter 61 times

The Central Criminal Court
The Central Criminal Court

Isabel Hayes

A jury at the Central Criminal Court has found a man guilty of raping his teenage daughter 61 times.

During a week long trial the victim testified that the 41-year-old man first raped her when she was 16-years-old after tying her arms behind her back and putting a pillow over her face.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had pleaded not guilty to 84 counts of rape at locations in County Cork between March 3, 2008 and November 1, 2009.

On Friday, the jury of six men and six women returned unanimous guilty verdicts to 61 counts of rape. They were previously directed by Mr Justice Paul Butler to find him not guilty of the remaining counts.

Following the verdict, Mr Justice Butler thanked the jury and exempted them from service for ten years. The man was remanded in custody for sentencing on December 19.

The week-long trial heard the victim was the eldest child of a large Traveller family that moved around frequently, but was living in the south in 2008 and 2009.

The victim told prosecution barrister, Timothy O'Leary SC, that her father raped her on a weekly basis from the time she turned 16, when her mother was out shopping and she was minding her younger siblings.

The woman broke down several times as she told the court that on the first occasion, her father ordered her into her parents' bedroom, tied her hands behind her back, spread her legs, put a pillow over her face and raped her.

“He said, 'I've missed this. I won't go without it anymore',” she said. She said afterwards, her father acted like nothing had happened.

“He just acted like a normal loving father, when he was far from that,” she said.

The woman said she wasn't allowed go to school. “I had to stay at home, clean, cook, look after the kids, behave like a housewife,” she said.

She said when she asked her father why he was raping her, he said it was because she was “special”.

She said he threatened her not to tell anyone about the abuse, telling her he would kill her and kill himself. “He used to threaten that I would never see my brothers and sisters if I told anybody and that's what happened,” she said. “To this day, I don't see them.”

The woman said her father continued to rape her months after she met her current partner and would tell her it's wasn't cheating because he was her father.

The woman said the rapes only stopped when she started refusing him. “I used to run out of the house. I used to lock myself in my room,” she said.

Defence barrister, Thomas Creed SC, put it to the victim that she made up the allegations against her father because they were “dead set” against her boyfriend and she wanted to stay with him.

She denied this and told the court: “I know (my father) is trying to pin this on him, but he didn't put me up to any of this”.

While the woman was in the stand, both her father and mother loudly refuted her allegations, moving the judge to warn against future outbursts. At one point, the woman's mother called out, “That's a load of s***!” from the public gallery.

Online Editors

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