Monday 23 September 2019

Girl raped and beaten by father 'every week'

Stock photo
Stock photo

Aoife Nic Ardghail and Brion Hoban

A man who told gardaí he considered his daughter a "partner" by night has been jailed for 15 years for raping and sexually assaulting her from when she was a young child.

The 52-year-old man pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to 21 sample charges, including rape, attempted rape, anal rape and sexual assaults in Dublin and Leinster on dates ranging from January 2006 to December 2017. He can't be named to protect his daughter's identity.

He also pleaded guilty to three counts of assault causing harm to his daughter on dates from June 2016 to December 2017. He has no previous convictions.

A local garda revealed that the man gave his daughter two black eyes on one occasion.

He said the now 17-year-old suspected this was because her father had viewed an image of her on her phone in which he had deemed her inappropriately dressed.

The garda told Conor Devally SC, prosecuting, that a subsequent beating had put the girl out of school for a time.

He revealed that after his arrest the man admitted his abuse, but downplayed beating the girl and suggested that he viewed her "by day father and daughter, by night partner".

The court heard that during one summer the girl thought she was pregnant and this caused "temporary respite" for a month. When it transpired she was not pregnant the abuse resumed.

The girl told gardaí no week went by without her being raped and that the attacks happened almost daily on weekends and during holidays.

In her victim impact statement which she read out in court, the girl said that her father "tore her soul apart".

"I cared about him from the depths of my heart, but he broke that," she said. "The worst thing he did to me was that he made me love him unconditionally.

"The biggest danger in my world was right in front of me and he could not save me from himself."

Yesterday Mr Justice Michael White said the offences were "at the very apex of seriousness" and noted the "profound breach of trust" involved.

He said the "moving" victim impact statement reflected how the man had used his daughter's "filial love to isolate her and cruelly abuse her".

He stated that the "relationship between a father and daughter is very important for the development of personality and well being of any young daughter and is something to be respected at all times".

He said the young woman was abused in a way he found hard to describe. The judge took into account the man's genuine remorse and his deep shame. He imposed an 18-year prison sentence with the final three suspended on condition that the man undergo the Better Lives treatment programme in jail.

Irish Independent

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