Friday 24 November 2017

Father who raped four daughters over 18 years will be sentenced next month

Judge's gavel.
Judge's gavel.

Declan Conlon

A Tipperary man who sexually abused and raped his four daughters in their Dublin family home over a period of 18 years will be sentenced later at the Central Criminal Court.

The 50 year old man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his victims pleaded not guilty  to 44 charges of sexually abusing his four daughters, 37 counts of raping his eldest daughter, one charge each of anal rape of this girl and oral rape of her younger sister, and one charge of issuing a threat to kill his youngest daughters on dates between October 1994 and July 2012.

He was found guilty on 75 charges following a trial last month. The judge directed the jury to deliver a verdict of not guilty on three charges.

Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan will sentence the man on May 18 next.

During the trial the eldest of the sisters told the jury she was first sexually abused by the man when she was nine years old before he started to rape her when she was 11 years old. She said she was anally raped once as a 14-year-old when she came home during her lunch break from school.

She said the abuse came to an end after she managed to escape to England with her boyfriend as a 17-year-old.

She had earlier that day enlisted the help of her younger sisters to help her commit suicide but after contacting her boyfriend by text to say goodbye he convinced her to meet up and refused to allow her to return to the house.  She never returned to Ireland.

The woman explained that the family lived a lot in fear of the father’s violence and explained that this violence would be directed at the whole family including her mother.

She said he beat them all “quite severely and regularly” using his steel cap work boots and his fists. She described him as a very controlling man.

The second daughter, now 27 years old, was sexually abused from the age of 10 until just before her 14th birthday. She claimed her father once forced her to perform oral sex on him.

The third daughter, now 24 years old, was sexually assaulted from the age of 11 to 13 years old. She said on one occasion her father threatened to kill her two younger sisters.

The final complainant, who gave evidence via video link as she is still 15 years old, said she was sexually abused on four occasions over a two month period in the summer of 2012.

Victim impact statements from the three older sisters were read out in court by Tara Burns SC, prosecuting.

The eldest of the three sisters, now 29, said that she had been a normal child living in England until her father was released from prison there, when the family returned to Ireland and the abuse began. She said that her mother, who gave evidence in support of her husband, "used to be a nice person but seems to be insane now".

Her next youngest sister described having "nightmares about our father abusing me and my sisters" and that the family had difficulty in relating to each other now as they each "tried to deal with what went on in our own ways."

The second youngest of the four sisters said that she had substance abuse problems since she was a teenager as a result of the abuse. She said that she hoped her father would get the help he needs.

The man has 57 previous convictions, mainly for road traffic offences. He has no previous convictions for sex crimes. 

Online Editors

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