'Persistent child sex abuser' who assaulted children over 28 years is jailed

His daughter spoke of her sense of betrayal that her father went on to abuse more children.
'Persistent child sex abuser' who assaulted children over 28 years is jailed

Fiona Ferguson

A remorseless “persistent child sex abuser” who offended multiple children over a period of 28 years has been given a 15-year sentence with the final two years suspended.

The 71-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect his victims’ identity, first sexually abused his own daughter, then a babysitter and finally his stepdaughter, between 1979 and 2007.

The Central Criminal Court heard that he had attended “counselling” after his daughter made disclosures of the abuse to her mother. Despite this, he went on to abuse the other two children.

His daughter spoke of her sense of betrayal that her father went on to abuse more children.

Final victim

The man’s final victim, his stepdaughter whom he raped multiple times, told the court she hoped in coming forward she had stopped “an evil monster” going on to abuse further children.

The court heard he still enjoys the support of his stepdaughter’s mother, who had written a letter to the court describing him as “a good man.”

The 71-year man pleaded guilty to 37 counts of indecent assault against his daughter on dates between 1979 and 1985. She was aged between six and 11 at the time.

The man was convicted following a trial of the sexual assault of a babysitter, who was aged between 15 and 17 years old at the time, at his home on a date between 1996 and 1998.

He was further convicted by a jury of the oral, anal and vaginal rape of his partner’s daughter at her home on dates between 2003 and 2007. She was aged between nine and 13 years old at the time.

The court was told that the accused man accepted the verdicts of the jury.

No safe place

Ms Justice Mary Ellen Ring said abuse of his daughter and later his stepdaughter in their own homes had been relentless, with no safe place for them to go. She noted that the common factor in all three cases was the breach of trust.

Judge Ring said the accused was a persistent child sex abuser who had shown no remorse.

Judge Ring noted that the earliest offences committed by the man were charged as indecent assault as laid out in legislation at the time but involved oral sex and digital penetration of her vagina.

Judge Ring said these offences were now called oral rape and noted they were a fundamental breach of a child’s bodily integrity and dignity. She said they were penetrative acts and very serious.

The earliest offences against his daughter between carry a maximum sentence of two years, and the later offences against her carry a maximum sentence of ten years. The most recent rape charges against his stepdaughter carry a maximum of life imprisonment.

Ms Justice Ring noted he had attended counselling after his daughter disclosed the abuse against her and that it was her and her mother, the accused man’s ex-partner, who wished not to take the matter further.

She said the fact that he went on to further offending, escalating to penetrative sex against his stepdaughter, meant it was hard to see his attendance at counselling as anything other than cynical and an attempt to placate social work personnel so the matter would not be taken further.

She noted in mitigation his complex medical needs and that he had suffered bereavements.

Ms Justice Ring imposed consecutive sentences totalling 15 years and suspended the final two years on strict conditions, including two years of post-release supervision.

She wished the three young women who had come forward as complainants well into the future.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can call the national 24-hour Rape Crisis Helpline at 1800 77 8888, access text service and webchat options at drcc.ie/services/helpline/, or visit Rape Crisis Help. 

In the case of an emergency, always dial 999/112. 

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