Wednesday 16 January 2019

Man jailed for rape of three girls who his parents were fostering

The Central Criminal Court (stock photo)
The Central Criminal Court (stock photo)

Sonya McLean

A man has been sentenced to seven and half years in prison for the repeated rape of his foster sister.

The 29-year-old man, who was convicted following a trial at the Central Criminal Court, was also jailed for the rape of two other young girls who were also fostered by his parents.

The three girls were aged between six and 10 years old at the time, while the accused was aged between 14 and 18 when the offences occurred.

The court heard he raped two of the girls at the same time in a hut by the family home.

The first victim, who had been fostered by the family from the age of six months, told the jury that the accused would ask her "to do that thing for me" before he raped her.

She outlined incidences of rape in a field and on a tractor, but said the rapes mostly occurred in this hut.

She recalled on one occasion being made to hold up a pornography magazine and on another being instructed to clean herself with a dock leaf after being raped in a field.

The second girl was 11 years old when she told gardaí in 2007 that both she and the first victim had been raped at the same time two years earlier. However, the case was not prosecuted at the time because the first victim denied it ever happened.

The second girl outlined in her victim impact statement that she started drinking at 11 years old. She said while waiting for others to come forward that she almost believed it was in her head. She got into trouble in school and was ultimately placed in care.

"He took my childhood away," she said, before she added she started attending counselling only three months ago.

The first girl reported the incidences of rape to a teacher in 2011, four years after the first complaint was made. The accused was arrested but claimed it was all lies.

It was only when the third girl was being interviewed as a witness for the investigation that she disclosed that she had also been raped.

She told gardaí that she had been eight years old and being minded by the accused when he raped her in his parents' room after instructing her to put on his mother's underwear.

She stated in her victim impact statement that she bottled it up until she disclosed the abuse to her father. She said she felt disgusted, embarrassed and very emotional. She couldn't open up in counselling but was starting to feel now that she could move on with her life.

The first woman said the abuse had a devastating and intensely far-reaching impact on every part of her life. "I called them my family, my mother, my father and my brothers," she continued. "I lost my education, my goals and my dreams."

The woman outlined how she couldn't sleep at night and suffered from severe anxiety, depression and self-harm. "My faith in myself and the world has been destroyed and will never be the same," she said.

The man was convicted of 19 charges of rape and one each of sexual assault and buggery against the first girl on dates between October 2003 and May 2007. He was also found guilty on one charge of raping each of the other two girls over the same time period.

Irish Independent

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