Friday 23 February 2018

Man jailed for sexually abusing sister-in-law when she was five years old

Declan Brennan

A Dublin man who began sexually abusing his sister-in-law when she was just five years old has been jailed for nine years.

The 60-year-old, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his victim, pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to 11 counts of indecent assault between September 1978 and March 1984.

He also pleaded guilty to two counts of indecently assaulting his niece on two occasions between May 1980 and October 1987.

At the Central Criminal Court today Mr Justice Paul Carney initially imposed concurrent jail sentences of six years for each victim but after submissions from defence counsel that a 12 year term was in excess of the maximum sentence for the 1981 law he reduced the overall sentence to nine years.

As the man was led from court to prison officers two supporters of the victim shouted: “Rot in hell, animal, bastard” and “Thank you your honour”. Justice Carney ordered these two men to be taken into custody for contempt of court.

The first victim described the abuse as "a nightmare that is still with me today". In her victim impact statement she said: "I brushed my teeth with bleach because of reliving what he did to me. He took my innocence".

She added: "I knew what he was doing was wrong. I was afraid to tell anyone. I was ashamed. I was a sad lonely girl who needed help. I felt so dirty and so isolated. Every day I ask myself, why me?"

"He would do things to me every chance he got. I hated him and wished that he would stop," the first victim said.

In her victim impact statement the woman said she was afraid to tell anyone about the abuse. She wrote: "I felt I could not come out. I felt no-one would believe me. I felt dirty and unlovable. I still have issues about sex."

Ms Biggs said her client says he was also the victim of abuse at the age of 8 and that this is the subject of civil proceedings.

She said he is deeply ashamed and disgusted at his own actions and accepts full responsibility. She said that as a result of his actions he has lost his own family and is isolated and ostracised. 

Psychologists have assessed him as being in the low to moderate range of reoffending and in the low range of intellectual capacity.

Irish Independent

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