Thursday 18 July 2019

Man who groomed child for rape over a decade jailed for ten years

Declan Brennan

A man who groomed and manipulated a child so that he could sexually abuse and rape her over a decade has been jailed for ten years.

The Dublin man, who cannot be named to protect the anonymity of the victim, was found guilty after a trial by jury at the Central Criminal Court of 106 counts of indecent assault and sexual assault and one count of rape of his sister-in-law between 1982 to 1992.

The 62-year-old man had pleaded not guilty to 172 charges including the rape count. The counts cover offending on a monthly basis over the decade.

Mr Justice Paul Butler said that he found it hard to hold tears back at some stages during the victim’s reading of her victim impact report today.

The victim told the court when the man raped her at the age of 12 he treated it as a cause for celebration and told her he had finally achieved something he had been trying to do for a long time.

He had been molesting her at that point for five years and had made some unsuccessful attempts to rape her.

During the rape, the child asked him to stop but he ignored her and forced himself on her. When the pain caused her to scream out he put his hand over her mouth so that a visitor downstairs would not hear her.

After marrying the victim’s teenage sister the man first began molesting the seven-year-old child while putting her to bed. The woman, now in her 30s, said that he had an air of authority about him and he had convinced her own mother that the child was safe with him.

She said he became like a father figure to her and he would help her with homework and take her along on trips with his wife. She said from the outside looking in, all looked well.

The woman said that their bedroom routine was fun and he would carry her on his back to bed and tickle her but that this fun took a sinister turn when he began molesting.

She convinced herself this was a worthwhile sacrifice for the other attention he gave her.

“I was completely brainwashed by him,” she said, telling the court that the man would tell her his abusive behaviour was evidence of his deep love for her.

The man took explicit photographs of the child using a Polaroid instant camera and had some of the photographs on display in her bedroom.

In her late teens the abuser interfered in her relationship with a boy and the couple split up. The victim said she tried to kill herself then because there seemed to be no escape from him.

“I preferred death to the seemingly never-ending abuse,” she said.

When she disclosed the abuse to her sister, the older woman told her she had known about it and accepted it.

The court heard that after the abuse ended the man became obsessed with his victim and would frequently show up at events in her life.

The woman said she still suffers terrifying nightmares of the abuse. She has had serious issues in forming relationships and felt dirty and soiled as a result of the abuse.

She said she also worries endlessly about where the photographs he took of her might end up.

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