Friday 20 April 2018

Former US Marine sentenced to 12 years in jail for molesting niece in Carlow

Sonya McLean

A former US marine who molested his niece when she was a young child has been sentenced to 12 years at the Central Criminal Court

Eamonn McCall (40), who is originally from Carlow, started abusing the girl when she was seven years old.

His victim earlier told the Central Criminal Court that she was wanted the accused named so “the world can know he is a child abuser”.                                                                                                            

McCall, with an address on North Circular Road, in Dublin 7, pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting the girl and attempting to rape her in her family home in Carlow Town on dates between April 1990 and December 1993.

The reformed heroin addict appeared in court today with severe facial injuries. His counsel said he had been badly beaten in prison after other inmates discovered the nature of his offences. Counsel asked the judge to take this into account when sentencing.

Mr Justice Paul Carney said the woman’s victim impact report was “one of the most harrowing ever received by this court.”

He said the aggravating factors in the case were the multiple instances of abuse, the age disparity involved and “in particular”, the effect on the victim. 

Mr Justice Carney imposed a 12 year term but suspended the final two years after taking into account McCall’s early guilty plea and relative youth at the time of offending.

In her impact report, the victim said McCall had robbed her of her right to live in her home town because she can only bear to spend a few nights there, acknowledging that if it were not for her parents she would never go back.

She spoke of her rage and described it as “useless anger” over what McCall had done to her.

“I still feel so angry. I hate him. He is a cancer in the world. I wish he would do everyone a favour and go away and die. He has shown no remorse, no contrition,” The victim continued before she added that her counselling with the Rape Crisis Centre has kept her alive and saved her life.

She said she often thought if she had locked her bedroom door in December 1994, the night of the attempted rape, McCall would not have been able to get her for “that last time”.

“My Aunt and Uncle were in my room that night and I thought I was safe but he still came for me and hurt me in the most awful and depraved way,” she said.

“I am not normal. I am a survivor and I survive every day.”

She said the pain never goes away and sometimes a smell would remind her of McCall and she would vomit.

She concluded her victim impact report by saying that she was waiving her right to anonymity because she wanted to world to know that McCall was a child abuser.

She also thanked the gardaí and the DPP for their “professionalism” in dealing with the case.

Garda Niall Maloney told  Derek Cooney BL, prosecuting, that the victim first made the allegations to gardaí in 2010 and McCall was arrested in Jun 2012. He was interviewed twice and made admissions.

Mary Rose Gearty SC, defending, said her client had served in the US Marines for over four years and asked the court to take into account that his only previous conviction was for a minor theft.

She acknowledged evidence from Gda Maloney that McCall had been a known heroin user in Carlow town but said her client instructed her that he is now drug free.

Ms Gearty said McCall has worked since returning from America in many positions including as a general operative in a factory and as a cleaner.

The victim told the court that people would not give her a second glance on the street because she “does not bear the hallmarks of abuse” such as alcohol and drug addictions.

She said people would think “ah sure she is grand” but they could not be more wrong.

She said sometimes it is an article in a newspaper or on television or something someone says during a conversation that would remind her of the abuse she suffered as a young child.

“I feel like a small girl again and I am terrified and alone,” she said before she added that she feels like there is a shadow in her mind.

She spoke of how she still has to lock her bedroom door at night because she is always afraid of McCall coming back –“he is in my room and I can’t escape” and added that the nightmares still continue.

The victim said she is not fully healed and although she has spent €2,300 on counselling to date she knows that she needs to continue with it.

She said she often freezes when family or friends hug her and “literally cannot bear any kind of touch at times”.

The victim said the abuse had shattered the family and described herself as “a good person who deserves a good life”.

She told gardaí that the first incident of sex abuse occurred before her Holy Communion in 1990.

The final incident occurred in December 1994.

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