Thursday 18 January 2018

Mum gets 16 months for sexually assaulting and filming four year old daughter

Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

A MOTHER who sexually assaulted and exploited her four-year-old daughter by filming her with the child's father naked from the waist down has been jailed for 16 months.

The video, described by a judge yesterday as "disturbing and pretty explicit", only came to light after a member of the public contacted the gardai after finding a smashed mobile phone and viewing the contents of the SIM card. The court heard the footage showed the child's father lying on a bed, naked from the waist down, with his daughter's face in close proximitity to his groin area.

The mobile phone video was viewed by Judge Martin Nolan at an earlier hearing and those seated in the courtroom could hear the woman laughing and telling the child to "smile for the camera".

The 28-year-old woman, who cannot be named to protect the child's identity, pleaded guilty to the offences which happened on March 12, 2010, and was sentenced to three years at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court yesterday, with all but 16 months of the sentence suspended.

Judge Nolan said he found the mobile phone footage to be "disturbing" and said the accused was "right to plead guilty."

As a mother, the woman had a duty to protect her child but she had "failed lamentably" to do so.

The judge said that while he accepted that the woman was "not intellectually gifted" and was "probably not the brightest person in the world", she should have known that what she did was "dreadfully serious and reprehensible".

However, he said that he was taking into account her expressions of remorse, saying: "I think she is remorseful and is sorry for what she did on that night."

The woman, dressed in jeans and a black top, nodded her head and fought back tears as the judge spoke.

He said that on the night in question, she was in a drunken state but the facts of the case remained "extremely serious".

"I think she was truly remorseful and it certainly upset her," Judge Nolan said.

Det Gda Brian Jennings told defence counsel Giollaiosa O Lideadha SC that when gardai later showed the video footage to the woman she said she was sickened by it and she began visibly gagging.

Defence counsel said his client had a serious drink problem and there was a complicated and very unsavoury psychological factor involved in his client's relationship with her ex-partner, the man in the video.

A report handed into the court said she is at a low risk of committing sexual offences in the future and that she should continue with therapy.

The court was also told she hasn't drunk alcohol since February 2011 and has completed a 12-step alcoholic recovery programme.

Judge Nolan said she was in a drunken state when the offence was committed and he believed she is genuinely sorry.

He noted that she has lost custody of her daughter but lately has supervised visitation rights.

Irish Independent

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