A Dublin man has been found guilty of multiple counts of indecent assault on his teenage sister-in-law during the late 1970s.
Albert Tucker (66) of Rockford Park, Blackrock, Dublin, pleaded not guilty to all counts but was found guilty by a jury earlier this month. The offences took place on dates between 1976-1979.
Garda Sergeant Georgina Reilly of Dún Laoghaire Garda station told Fíona Crawford BL, prosecuting, that gardaí received a complaint from Alice Ryan Wright that she had been assaulted by her brother-in-law at multiple locations in Dublin during the 1970s.
The court heard Tucker had moved back to Ireland from the UK in the 1970s and had moved into his parents-in-laws' house.
Gda Stg Reilly told the court that Tucker told the young girl she would be disowned if she told anyone about the incidents. Tucker went on to carry out systematic abuse over the next two years.
After receiving a complaint, gardaí interviewed Tucker by arrangement. He denied that these incidents took place, but said that one act of consensual intercourse did take place when his sister-in-law was of legal age.
Tucker and his family moved to Shankill, and as Ms Ryan Wright still had a good relationship with her sister at the time, she would visit her in Shankill. Her sister would insist on Tucker driving her younger sister home, and on these occasions, Tucker would assault her in his car.
Fíona Crawford BL, prosecuting, told the court that Tucker lost no opportunity to advance on Ms Ryan Wright when she was alone and would grope her.
Tucker has no previous convictions.
As hard as this process has been, I do not regret coming forward.
A victim impact statement was read to the court by Ms Crawford on behalf of Ms Ryan Wright, which said: “My world became dark and scary, and I was unable to tell anyone.”
“At 14 years of age, I tried to kill myself, and when that did not work, I began to self-harm,” she wrote.
The court heard that Ms Ryan Wright suffers from anxiety, and as her sons grew up, she was afraid to let them out of her sight.
Speaking outside the court, Ms Ryan Wright said: “This entire process has taken six years, and I have re-lived every moment. But as hard as this process has been, I do not regret coming forward.”
She gave her sincere thanks to her family, the Victim Impact Services, her prosecuting team, in particular Sergeant Georgina Reilly.
Michael Bowman SC, defending, told the court his client was previously of good character and suffers from numerous medical conditions. He said if a prison sentence is imposed, his client will require ongoing treatment and medication while in custody.
The court heard that Tucker still asserts his position of not guilty and has not accepted the jury’s verdict.
Justice Paul McDermott outlined the seriousness of the offences carried out on Ms Ryan Wright while she was aged 11-17. He said Ms Ryan Wright was left in fear in her own home and that the accused showed a high level of disrespect for her.
He said Tucker told Ms Ryan Wright that no one would believe her and that if she told anyone, they would disown her, leaving the young girl terrified. He said the offences are of a very serious nature and lie in the mid-range.
Mr Justice McDermott said he must also consider the mitigating factors such as Tucker’s lack of previous convictions, his strong work record, his many medical conditions, and the fact that entering prison life at the age of 66 would undoubtedly be difficult for him.
He sentenced Tucker to four years in prison and stated there was no basis to suspend any part of the sentence. Tucker will be required to remain under supervision of the probation services for two years post-release.