Thursday 14 December 2017

Man gets 12 years for abusing daughters and stepchildren

Jessica Magee, Sonya McLean and Fiona Ferguson

A FATHER who raped and sexually abused his two daughters and two stepdaughters has been jailed for 12 years.

The 64-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had pleaded not guilty to 100 charges of sex assault, indecent assault and oral rape of four girls between May 1989 and December 2002.

He denied all the allegations, claiming the women were lying and that it was a "conspiracy".

But he was convicted of four counts of oral rape, 40 counts of sexual assault and two counts of indecent assault.

One stepdaughter, now aged 26, said her stepfather ruined her life and stopped her getting to know her sisters.

"He ripped us all apart from each other," she said.

The jury heard a suicide note from her, which she wrote when she was 15 years old. The letter started with the words "Dear Daddy" and ended with the girl's signature, "died July 25, 2002, RIP".

She said that she took an overdose a month after the letter was written. She said she took 86 tablets and left school because she couldn't cope. She suffered from a mental breakdown and started drinking heavily.

Mr Justice Barry White told the accused man: "Every right-minded person, on hearing the facts of this case, irrespective of whether they are the parent of a daughter, will consider your conduct utterly abhorrent."

No remorse

He took into account the "immense" breach of trust as well as the effect of the abuse on the victims. He also noted that the man had shown no remorse.

Mr Justice White sentenced the man to 14 years on each of the counts of oral rape and five years on each of the counts of sexual assault and indecent assault, all to run concurrently. He suspended the final two years, taking into account the man's personal circumstances.

Garda Olive Dreenan read out victim-impact statements in court on behalf of the victims, all of whom were abused from the age of seven or eight onwards.

The eldest victim, now aged 31, said her life changed forever when the abuse began on the day of her Communion. She described her step-father as an "evil monster and a predator".

She said she carried guilt for not continuing with allegations she initially made aged 17 but withdrew under pressure from the accused.

Pieter Le Vert, prosecuting, said the offences were at the "higher end" of the scale.

John Paul Shortt, defending, said his client had no previous convictions and suffered from health issues.

Irish Independent

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