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Thursday 14 December 2017

Father to be sentenced for sexual abuse of step-daughter

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

Declan Brennan

A woman has told a court that her childhood was taken from her by her step-father who sexually abused her three times when she was thirteen.

Philip Dempsey (48) pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to three counts of sexual assault at the family home on Collins Avenue West, Donnycarney between January 2000 and March 2003.

The court heard that Dempsey worked as a driving instructor but quit his job after being charged with the offences. He is now engaging with the Forensic Psychological Services, formerly the Granada Institute.

Karen O'Connor BL, prosecuting, told the court that the victim, now aged 23, had opted to waive the protection of the court meaning that Dempsey can be publicly named.

Judge Desmond Hogan adjourned sentencing until February and ordered that the man co-operate with the Probation Services in the meantime.

Fiona Murphy BL, defending, said her client's offences were isolated incidents and that after committing them he realised his behaviour was wrong and stopped it. He is at a loss to understand his own actions, she said.

The court heard that the abuse has torn the victim's family apart because Dempsey has returned to living with the victim's mother and her younger brothers.

He was initially asked to leave the home but after a HSE investigation gave him the all clear and deemed him to be at a low risk to children, he moved back in.

The victim said this has caused her to lose all contact with her mother and younger brothers.

Ms Murphy said that the victim's mother was in a difficult position in that she was trying to care for her younger children while also providing support for the victim.

A report handed into court concluded that the man is at a “very very low risk” to children once he continues to engage with certain programmes.

Garda Mark Higgins told Ms O'Connor that Dempsey twice forced the girl to masturbate him on two occasions in the family home.

She said she was crying and felt dirty and horrible for days. After each incident he told her he was sorry but acted like everything was normal.

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