Cork court hears how man sexually assaulted daughter after her suicide attempt

Cork court hears how man sexually assaulted daughter after her suicide attempt

A TEENAGER who attempted suicide spoke to her father when she was in counselling afterwards but today he faced sentencing for sexually assaulting her during this time.

Detective Garda Fionnuala Whelan testified at Cork Circuit Criminal Court that the sexual assault occurred on September 19, 2010, when the injured party was 19 years old.

“It happened when she was getting counselling after an intentional overdose at the age of 18. Her father ended up in a close relationship with her. He was the only one she could speak to at this time,” Det Garda Whelan said.

They were alone in a shed at the back of the family home when he embraced her and held her in his arms. She could smell alcohol from his breath but did not believe he was drunk.

“He put his hands down the back of her pyjamas, resting his hands on her bottom against her skin, looking straight at her and talking to her. It went on for two to three minutes. He moved his hand around to her vagina. He began rubbing his hand around her vagina and his left hand was around her hip and bottom. There was a noise from outside and they both jumped,” Det. Garda Whelan said.

The victim’s father, who is now in his mid-50s, then asked her to go to another out-house but she declined. She was 19 at the time almost ten years ago.

“I lost my whole family because he chose to lie instead of telling the truth,” she said in her victim impact statement which concluded by saying she was glad she stood up.

The accused wept as he apologised to his daughter. “She was right, I was wrong… I am so so sorry for what happened,” he said.

Brendan Kelly, defence barrister, said alcohol was a factor and the father acknowledged he was entirely wrong and sorry for the many years of isolation from the family which she experienced as a result of this.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said there were unusual aspects he needed to consider and he remanded the accused on bail until tomorrow.

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