Friday 24 May 2019

'He bullied me, beat me and abused me but he can’t take another day of my life' - woman abused by her father makes powerful statement

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)

Aoife Nic Ardghail and Brion Hoban

A Galway man who committed “despicable crimes” by subjecting his daughter to years of physical and sexual abuse has been jailed for eight years.

The man (55), who cannot be named to protect the victim's anonymity, pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to rape and anal rape of his daughter on dates between 2000 to 2002, and to sexually assaulting his daughter from 1995 to 2002 when the girl was aged between 11 and 18 years old.

Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy sentenced the man to eight years imprisonment for each of the two counts of rape, which he will serve concurrently. He said the man would be registered as a sex offender and be under the supervision of the Probation Service for five years following his release.

The now 32-year-old woman read from her victim impact statement, in which she described hating how her father had looked at her differently and how he would wink and blow kisses at her.

She revealed that he always “stank of alcohol and cigarettes” and would always wait until she was alone before the sexual abuse.

The woman said she does not see the rest of her family much as they live at home and the house brings back too many bad memories. She said she recalled that it was “routine” that her father would do something to her if he had been drinking.

She said most of the time he would be violent towards her, but after each instance of abuse he would become nicer for a few days.

The woman said she used to blame herself for what was happening and revealed that she had self- harmed and thought about taking her own life. She said anything could cause flashbacks to the abuse, especially when watching TV.

“He bullied me, beat me and abused me but he can’t take another day of my life away from me”, she said.

She described how at school, everyone else would talk about their fathers in a good way but that she had nothing to say. She said every time she looked at her father she felt sick and angry.

Bernard Madden SC, defending, submitted to Mr Justice McCarthy that his client had lived apart from his wife for eight years.

He asked the judge to consider the man's admissions, co-operation with gardai and his early guilty pleas. He submitted that his client was in poor health and had limited capacity to exercise.

Mr Madden told the court that the man wished to “apologise profusely” for the offending perpetrated on his daughter over the years and that he hoped his guilty pleas would ease the pain in her heart.

He added that a probation and welfare service report deemed his client at low risk of re-offending. The man has one previous conviction for a minor road traffic offence.

Mr Justice McCarthy said the man had committed “despicable crimes” because the victim was his daughter and that he had “grossly breached his position as her father.”

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