Thursday 22 February 2018

Man suggested partner's daughter be put on birth control while he was secretly sexually assaulting her

The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin
The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin

Conor Gallagher

An Armagh man suggested his partner's daughter be put on birth control while he was secretly sexually assaulting her, a court has heard.

Darren Davidson (37) was today jailed for nine years abusing the girl from when she was aged between 13 and 16 years old while he lived in the family home in Monaghan.

Davidson emigrated to Australia after being interviewed by gardaí about the offences. He was arrested in the UK the following year and consented to extradition back to Ireland.

The now adult woman told the court in a written statement that she does not wish to be a victim but feels the abuse will always be with her.

She said she found the trial process incredibly difficult due to having to be in close proximity to Davidson but was glad she went though with it.

“When I look at my younger sister I feel I have protected her and that makes the trial worth it,” she said.

She said she decided to make a complaint to gardaí because the abuse was getting more frequent and severe and she felt she had to protect her siblings.

“I was no longer going to stand being a sexual object for him,” she said. The woman added that when Davidson went to Australia she thought “the torture was never going to end.”

Noting the ongoing psychological effects, Mr Justice Robert Eagar said she “displays classic symptoms of being abused by someone they trust.”

He said that without any mitigating factors he would have imposed a 12 year sentence. However he took into account Davidson's good work history, his character references and his condition of epilepsy.

Mr Justice Eagar imposed a ten year term with the final year suspended and ordered Davidson be registered as a sex offender.

Davidson, formerly of Dungormley Estate, Newtownhamilton, Armagh was convicted last March at the Central Criminal Court of eleven counts of sexual assault with an object, sexual assault and defilement at the victim's home between 2008 and 2010.

Caroline Biggs SC, prosecuting, said Davidson moved in with the girl's mother and started abusing her after she turned 14. The first time it happened he she had fallen asleep on the couch and woke up to find Davidson with his hand inside her pants.

On other occasions he used a vibrator and told the victim to “moan.” Another time she woke up in her bed to Davidson molesting her. The final charge relates to abuse which took place while the family were on holiday in America.

Around this time the victim's mother became concerned about his behaviour such as going to sleep in the girl's bed or walking around her in his boxer shorts. At one point he suggested to her that her daughter be “put on the pill”. She asked why and pointed out the girl was not sexually active and did not have a boyfriend.

The girl told her mother about the abuse in 2010 and she took the children and left the house. Gardaí were alerted and Davidson was interviewed. However the investigation stalled when he emigrated to Australia.

He was arrested in Manchester Airport while on a visit to Northern Ireland and extradited to this country.

Defence counsel Felix McEnroy SC said Davidson has since married another women who is a vet and she is standing by him. He said his client worked as a carpenter until he lost his job in the recession. He then attempted to set up a driving school.

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