Man who raped three children for 10 years jailed
A man charged with 173 counts of rape and sexual assault of three young children over the course of a decade has been jailed for 12 years.
The 61-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the identities of his victims, pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to all offences committed at various locations between 2001 and 2010. The man has two previous convictions for sexual offences.
The court heard that the sexual abuse began when each of the three siblings reached the age of six or seven. The man was in a relationship with the children's mother.
The rapist introduced the youngest victim to a friend of his who sexually assaulted her. He also raped one of the victims in front of another friend.
Neither the boy nor his two sisters were aware that the others were also being abused.
Mr Justice Paul Carney said the case involved "nearly every form of depravity it is possible to perpetrate on children".
He said he was taking into account a range of factors, including the breach of trust, the victim's ages, the multiplicity of victims and offences, the effect on the children, the relevant previous convictions and the involvement of other men in some of the offences.
Mr Justice Carney imposed a 15-year sentence and suspended the final three years, taking into account the man's guilty plea.
Harrowing victim impact statements for each of the three victims, now in their late teens and early twenties, were read out in court.
The siblings said they feel their childhood was ruined and their innocence stolen from them. They remain terrified of swimming pools, caravans, graveyards and bogs and other places where they were raped and assaulted.
The eldest sister said she felt so alone and afraid as a child and that she had no-one to turn to.
"I felt like it was my fault. I trusted him and he let me down and hurt me in the worst possible way," she said.
Her younger sister, now aged 18, said she feels like she is in a "dark hole" and can't get out of it.
"I wish sometimes I was never born," said the girl. She said she still has a lot of nightmares and remains very nervous every time she has a shower or a bath as she is afraid her attacker will be waiting for her.
The 18-year-old boy said he felt suicidal at times because he wasn't able to cope with the abuse.