Saturday 17 August 2019

Man jailed for four years for 'evil deed' of sexually assaulting his niece (10)

(stock photo)
(stock photo)

Ralph Riegel

A man who sexually assaulted his 10-year-old niece was jailed for four years after a judge warned the "tentacles of evil deeds" reach out very far.

The man - who cannot be named to protect his victim - has still refused to accept the verdict of a Circuit Criminal Court jury, which convicted him of the offence by an 11-1 majority verdict last January.

The middle-aged man also cannot have his profession identified by order of the trial judge.

His employer has already commenced proceedings to have him dismissed.

He had a number of awards as part of his three-decade career which, the court heard, is now set to end in shame.

The judge said the offence had a catastrophic impact on everyone involved.

"The effect of what happened... might be the equivalent of explosives being detonated within the family," he said.

"For some people the crime of murder does not have the same odium as the crime of molesting a child."

The judge said the breach of trust involved was very significant.

He acknowledged that the defendant already faced grave punishment for the offence in both his personal life and career.

The court was told the offender's wife has not spoken to him since he was convicted of sexually assaulting her niece last January - and he has not seen his own children since then.

His wife is now separated from him.

He is living with an elderly relative in a different county, having found it impossible to keep living within his own community.

Submissions were also made that the man has since been shunned and ostracised by members of his family, his friends, his neighbours and his colleagues.

The man asked to be remanded in custody on May 8 last to await sentencing after warning his life was now "absolute hell".

"When evil deeds are done, the tentacles reach out very far," the judge said.

He made a point of paying tribute to the bravery of the child.

"I am very impressed with the evidence given by [the girl] and with her bravery," he said.

During the trial, the court heard the girl had travelled with her mother and her grandparents to the home of the defendant and his wife, the girl's aunt.

The adults went to a function on November 26, 2016 while the girl stayed in with the man's own young son and a babysitter.

However, the man left the family gathering early to go home in the early hours of November 27 and allow the babysitter to leave.

The court heard he then went into a bedroom where the girl was staying and sexually assaulted her.

Irish Independent

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