The 67-year-old man facing sentence for attempting to rape a girl aged 10 or less approximately 30 years ago had his case further adjourned at the Central Criminal Court until January 21.
Defence barrister Seán Rafter asked Mr Justice Michael McGrath to take into consideration how long ago the offences happened but more significantly, the fact that he had served another sentence in a similar case in the late 1990s.
And that he had made admissions to the gardaí about these particular offences in 1997 even though the complaints were not made until relatively recently.
The accused man pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to rape the child and 19 counts of indecent or sexual assault, mainly in the late 1980s.
The victim was aged between seven and 10 at the time.
Evidence at the sentencing hearing was heard by Mr Justice Michael McGrath at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork last week.
Detective Garda Brian Morris said the abuse, which occurred in a number of locations, saw the defendant touching the child’s vagina and masturbating himself.
The most serious offence consisted of attempted rape where he removed all of her clothing and lay her down on his coat in a field and attempted to have full intercourse with the child. He stopped when the victim said it was hurting her.
The defendant was arrested and questioned at the beginning of 2020 when he admitted the attempted rape and all the counts of indecent/sexual assault.
Detective Garda Morris said, “He informed gardaí that in 1997 he confessed to gardaí he abused her. The file from 1997 was retrieved.
“Back in 1997 he does admit sexually abusing (victim’s name) and attempting to have full vaginal sex. In that interview he described her as a kind, innocent and vulnerable child.
“He told the child that what he was doing to her was their little secret and not to tell anyone about it.
“When he made this admission in 1997 she would have been 16. Unknown to (victim’s name) until very recently, gardaí approached her mother (about these allegations) and she refused to give gardaí permission to interview her,” the detective said.
The injured party said, “His guilty plea means nothing to me… I hope he gets the maximum sentence possible.”
Defence senior counsel Roisín Lacey said the accused had been exposed to violence in his childhood.
In a letter written by the accused he said there was not a day that passed when he did not regret his actions.