Former soldier jailed for molesting his niece (8)
A former soldier has been jailed for molesting his eight-year-old niece on three occasions.
The Dublin man (53) has a previous conviction for sexual assaults in the nineties and was a registered sex offender when he sexually assaulted his niece.
He was convicted earlier this year by a jury at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court of three counts of sexual assault at a house in the city on dates between June and September 2002.
The man cannot be named to protect the anonymity of the victim who is now in her 20s. He originally entered a plea of guilty but last January his lawyers made a successful application to change his plea to not guilty.
This morning Judge Sarah Berkeley imposed a sentence of four and a half years, with one year suspended. She said that the abuse had had a profound effect on the victim who was a young vulnerable child at the time.
The suspension of one year was on condition that the man co-operates with any treatment recommended by the Prison Service and the Probation Service and that he remain under a post release supervision order for four years.
The court heard that the father-of-four served in the Irish Defence Forces for over 12 years and discharged himself after the first conviction. He had served in the Lebanon and had a good military record.
Garda Aisha Fitzsimons told Kathleen Noctor BL, prosecuting, that the abuse took place in the home of the victim's grandmother and also in the victim's own family home .
On one occasion the man put his hand underneath her clothing and underwear. Another time he rubbed her between her legs in her private area and rubbed himself up against her.
The offence which took place in her own home involved the man rubbing the child's chest.
Sean Guerin SC, defending, said his client was assessed at a moderate to low range of re-offending.