A Dublin paedophile, who admitted to gardai that he sexually abused a four-year-old girl nearly a decade after committing the sick crimes, has been jailed for two years.
Judge Gerald Keys imposed a four-year prison term with the final two years suspended on pervert Ciaran Colgan (56), of Gleann na hEorna, Springfield, Tallaght, at Ennis Circuit Court yesterday.
Colgan, who also set up a fake Facebook profile to sexually exploit another underage girl, went to a Dublin garda station in 2010 to confess that he had sexually abused the four-year-old girl nine years earlier in Co Clare.
Colgan made admissions to gardai that he had abused the girl on three occasions between 2001 and 2003 in west Clare.
Colgan identified the child by name and told officers that he didn't wish to make a statement but if a complaint was ever made he would admit to everything.
Colgan walked free from the station as there was no complaint against him.
However, four years later he offended again when he posed as a 16-year-old boy on Facebook and sent sexually explicit messages to a 12-year-old girl.
In March, Colgan received a four-year jail term at Cavan Circuit Court with the final two-and-a-half years suspended for the sexual exploitation of a child concerning the Facebook offence.
Yesterday, Judge Keys said he couldn't ignore that conviction.
In relation to the offence before the Ennis court, Judge Keys told Colgan: "You abused your victim for your own sexual gratification and you abused your position of trust when babysitting."
In Colgan's favour, the judge said he had no previous convictions at the time of the offence; had pleaded guilty; came forward voluntarily and admitted his criminal con- duct.
Judge Keys said Colgan had apologised for his wrongdoing and was prepared to engage with the Probation Service and undergo treatment under the sex offenders programme.
Colgan, whose marriage ended in 1992, is the father of two grown-up children, aged 27 and 26.
The case came to court after the Clare victim went to a garda station last year to make formal complaints against Colgan.
When interviewed by gardai, he confessed, telling officers: "I am sorry. I am very sorry."
Colgan abused the girl on three occasions when babysitting her.
In her victim impact statement, the complainant said she had come forward and put "myself in this complicated and sensitive process mainly to ensure the protection of other children but also as closure for myself so that I continue to heal and better myself".
She added: "I was such a young girl in a vulnerable situation and I was used for pleasure by an adult I was expected to respect."
"At the age of five, I didn't have the words to describe how I was feeling but now I do.
"As a child, I felt different to the children around me. I remember feeling disgusted and ashamed of myself for what happened, which I see is a massive burden to carry."
She said that in the years after the abuse "I bottled up all my emotions and it took a toll on my mental health and I suffered low self-esteem and I went through a period of self-harming".
"My childhood innocence was taken from me and I was forced to grow up too fast with a warped version of the world. It wasn't a world I wanted to live in," she said.
Judge Keys backdated the sentence to May 15 to when Colgan entered his guilty plea.