Tuesday 20 February 2018

Man 'sexually abused daughter from age of six while in his care' - court hears


Declan Conlon

A Tipperary man who sexually abused his daughter for four years from when she was six years old will be sentenced later.

The 47 year old man pleaded guilty at Dublin Central Criminal Court to one count of rape, one count of oral rape and six counts of sexual assault at locations in Tipperary between November 2004 and November 2008.

Garda Jennifer O’Brien told John O’Kelly SC, prosecuting, that the man was in a relationship with his daughter’s mother which ended shortly after her birth. There was a casual arrangement for the girl to stay with her father occasionally and it was on these occasions that the abuse occurred.

The girl, who is now 16, told members of her family of the abuse in 2012. Her mother then contacted gardai.

In an interview with a specially trained investigator the girl said her father raped her when she was nine years old and sexually assaulted her regularly over a four year period.

The man was arrested in January 2013 and admitted the abuse. His description of one incident of sexual assault corroborated his daughter’s account.

Victim impact statements prepared by the girl and her mother were read to the court. The girl said the last few years had been incredibly upsetting for her and her mother. She said she knew what her father did was wrong, but part of her missed him every day.

The girl’s mother said she felt she had failed her daughter and would never be able to understand how the man could hurt his own child. She said she was proud of her daughter for being brave.

Gda O’Brien agreed with Michael Delaney SC, defending, that the victim said she did not want her father to go to prison. Mr Delaney said the girl had “a commendable absence of bitterness” towards her father.

After his arrest the man was interviewed by Detective Garda John O’Gorman.

Det Gda O’Gorman agreed with counsel that the man became extremely emotional and began talking about how he had been physically and sexually abused himself.

Mr Delaney told Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan that the man was unemployed and had a long-standing problem with drug and alcohol abuse. The man has 15 previous convictions for drug possession, road traffic and public order offences.

Mr Delaney said the man wanted to tell his daughter how truly sorry he was for the damage he had caused, and he hoped that some day she may be able to forgive him.

Ms Justice Heneghan remanded the man in custody for sentencing on Monday July 27 2015. 

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