A CHRISTMAS Day sex assault by 51-year-old on his own 19-year-old daughter at the family home in County Cork resulted in him being sentenced to two years in prison today.
The young woman said in her victim impact statement in relation to the sexual assault when her father came into her bedroom at 3am on December 25, 2017, “If you can’t trust your dad who can you trust?”
She said she would not have gotten through it without the amazing support of her family.
“It should never have happened – taken advantage of in my own home, in my own bedroom by my own father. That sentence is hard to take in.
“I felt worthless, I had to overcome a lot of fears. I feel like I lost my innocence. You (the accused) can deny it all you want but we both know the truth,” the young woman said.
Judge Brian O’Callaghan sentenced the accused at Cork Circuit Criminal Court for what he described as a total breach of trust.
The sentence was backdated to May 24.
That was the date on which he was found guilty of the crime by a jury following a four-day trial.
Defence barrister, Mark Lynam, said the accused continued to protest his innocence but accepted the jury had found him guilty.
Neither party can be identified in coverage of the case because of the familial connection.
A jury of eight men and four women took over four hours to deliver a majority 10-2 guilty verdict against the accused.
The complainant said her father got into her bed at the time of the disputed incident and she said he put his hand on her vagina.
Judge O’Callaghan said, “There is more than one victim when those bonds are broken. In addition to being so serious, it is bad and upsetting.
“This court is impressed by the strength of this young lady’s character. Testimonials show he (the defendant) is otherwise of good character but it should be said that she too is a person of good character.
“Why it happened we don’t really know. It was an isolated incident. As is clear from the probation report it is very hard to understand.
"The defendant continues to deny the incident took place while accepting the verdict of the jury. How or why will never be reached until another door is opened by the defendant himself.
“The aggravating factors are obvious – the young lady in her own bed at home during a very special holiday period.
"This was invaded by one of those persons she would expect to trust the most – her dad – and her privacy was invaded in the most serious manner.”