Friday 23 August 2019

Girl (12) 'wants people to know' name of cousin who raped her from age of five

Stock photo
Stock photo

Sonya McLean

A 12-year-old girl wishes to see the cousin who raped and sexually abused her identified because she wants people to know that "he is in the wrong".

But a court heard the instructions from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) were that it would not be in the girl's best interest to have the man named.

Alice Fawsitt SC, prosecuting, told Mr Justice Michael White: "She is very angry and wants people to know that he is in the wrong."

Ms Fawsitt added that the DPP believes the man's identification would cause "complications" for the girl.

"It is inevitable that she would be identified. It is a small community and everyone will know and it will follow her in her teenage years," counsel continued.

The man pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to six charges including rape, oral rape, anal rape and sexual assault on dates between November 1, 2011, and June 26, 2016, in his Co Cork home.

He has no previous convictions.

The girl was first abused when she was five years old and she ultimately told her mother about it when she was nine. The accused was aged between 15 and 19 at the time.

During the abuse the teenager raped his cousin, and forced her to perform sex acts.

Mr Justice Michael White revoked the man's bail and remanded him in custody before he adjourned sentencing to June 21.

He said there would be "a substantial custodial element to the sentence".

Addressing the child's wishes to have the man named, Mr Justice White said he appreciated she was angry.

He acknowledged that a guilty party loses anonymity on conviction but said the court also had "a wider duty to ensure that the identity of an injured party would be protected".

He said in this case the naming of the accused would "tend to identify her".

Mr Justice White said he would "pay tribute to her courage in disclosing these horrific crimes" when he is pronouncing sentence later this month, but added that it was "not in her best interest to accede to her request to name him".

Earlier, the child's mother read a victim impact statement into the record on behalf of herself, her husband and her daughter.

The woman described her daughter's "courage and bravery to tell us what was happening", adding "our lives fell apart".

The woman said she lost "years of hugs and cuddles" because her daughter would freeze up.

Irish Independent

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