A father has been jailed for six months for sexually abusing his five year old daughter over the course of two years.
The court heard that the young girl was also “prostituted out” by her mother to their neighbour.
The girl’s mother is currently serving a 14 year sentence, with four and a half years suspended, for sexual assault, sexual exploitation and child cruelty.
The neighbour received a 14 year sentence for a variety of sexual offences against the child including rape.
The mother was in a relationship with the neighbour and would make the child available to him for sexual abuse.
The child’s 59-year-old father pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to sexual assault of the girl at the family home in Roscommon between July 2004 and July 2006.
Today Judge Martin Nolan sentenced the man to two years in prison but suspended all bar six months of that having taken into account the man’s plea of guilty, remorse and the fact that he has a severe medical condition.
He said the girl had been abused in an awful way and “prostituted” by her mother.
“The trauma inflicted on this child is beyond imagination,” Judge Nolan said before he added that she now appears to be getting on with her life with the aid of very good foster parents.
“For a father to abuse his child in this way is reprehensible,” he added before he declared the man a sex offender.
Judge Nolan told Caroline Biggs SC, prosecuting, that he did not think there was a necessity for post release supervision as the man doesn’t represent “an on-going threat to society”.
A local garda told prosecuting counsel Philipp Rahn BL (with Ms Biggs) that social workers were involved in the care of the family and there were concerns about the victim showing “over-sexualised” behaviour.
The child was taken out of the family home and a “wide ranging investigation” took place.
During interview by specialist garda interviewers the girl said her father would sit her on his knee and kiss and molest her.
She said this happened two or three times when she was aged five or six.
During garda interview the man denied molesting her and said he may have touched her genitals “by accident.”
In a victim impact report read to the court the girl said her father “has left permanent scars that will never go away.”
“He had no right to hurt me,” she wrote. “No one ever said I love you. Every child needs to be told they are loved and he never did.”
Defence counsel Paul Greene SC said his client had nothing to do with the more serious abuse orchestrated by the girl’s mother.
Counsel said his client was in fear of the mother and “was in a family environment that had become chaotic and dysfunctional.”
Mr Greene added that a medical report showed the man would find custody very difficult due to medical problems.