| 13.7°C Dublin

Woman claims her brother sexually abused her in family home, court hears


Court stock image

Court stock image

Court stock image

A WOMAN claims she was raped and sexually and physically abused over some four years by one of her brothers in their family home.

She claims it began when she was aged eight in an action for damages she has brought against the brother in the High Court.

The woman told her father about the assaults by her older brother at the time they were happening but she was not believed and was beaten, her counsel Sasha Gayer said. Afterwards, the woman felt like an “outcast” from the family, counsel added.

The woman became upset while telling a jury she believed the abuse began around the time of her First Communion when she was aged eight.

She was one of eight children and believed her brother was around 16 at the time. When Ms Gayer said there was an issue about her brother's exact age at the time and whether he was aged 13 or 14, the woman said he "looked bigger". 

She said the abuse could happen any time of the day and she could not remember particular dates or times.

"Any chance he could, he would."  It began with "playing" and later became "more intense stuff", she said.

Now aged in her forties, the woman has sued her brother over the alleged rape and assaults on her on dates from 1976 to 1980 in the family home.

In a defence read to the court, the brother denies all the claims.

The case opened  Tuesday (Nov 3) before Mr Justice Colm MacEochaidh and a jury.

In her action, it is alleged she was subjected to repeated, sustained and wrongful acts of rape and sexual and physical assaults.

It is claimed the defendant was in a position of control over her at the time, forced her to commit oral sex on him and watch him masturbating, raped her vaginally and anally, emotionally taunted and tormented her about sexual and quasi sexual matters and exposed her to abuse when he knew she would be damaged by that.

Daily Digest Newsletter

Get ahead of the day with the morning headlines at 7.30am and Fionnán Sheahan's exclusive take on the day's news every afternoon, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required

The claim is for damages for alleged rape and assaults, battery, abuse, false imprisonment, breach of duty and breach of rights.

This is a very serious case involving claims the woman was sexually abused by an older brother when she was a young child, counsel said.

The woman was traumatised by the assaults, still experiences psychological symptoms and flashbacks and a psychologist would tell the court she suffers Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, counsel said.

Counsel said the woman was one of eight children living in a three bedroom house with their parents and the abuse took place in a bedroom of the house.

The woman left school in her mid teens and worked in a shop, counsel said.

She met her husband and followed him to the UK after he emigrated there.

She had tried to get on with things and constantly suppressed memories of the abuse but always suffered trauma and depression, Ms Gayer said.

Her relationship with her husband and three children was affected and she had difficulties with children being tactile toward her which she attributed to the alleged abuse.

In 2004, her memories came to the force and she had counselling which she found helpful.

It was only then she felt able to tell her family about what happened and that set in progress the procedure which led to this case, counsel said.

The case continues.

Most Watched