A psychiatric nurse who sexually molested his young daughter and repeatedly raped his wife has been jailed for 12½ years.
After a trial at the Central Criminal Court, Martin Doyle (53), of Esker, Knock, Co Mayo, was convicted of raping his wife twice in May 2009 and on a third occasion in November 2011, and 24 counts of sexual assault of his daughter on various dates between 2004 and 2011.
He had pleaded not guilty to all the charges and continues to deny the offending.
Cathleen Noctor SC, prosecuting, told Justice Caroline Biggs that both victims wished to waive their anonymity.
Doyle's daughter Siobhan Moore was aged around seven or eight years old and the family were staying at a house in Kells, Co Meath in 2004 when Doyle first sexually assaulted the child.
After the family moved to Doon Rock, Gurteen, Co Sligo, Doyle went on to repeatedly and routinely sexually assault the girl until she turned 15.
He was convicted of 27 counts of sexual assault in total, including 11 sample counts covering sexual assaults of the child while she was showering. The victim told the trial that these assaults took place two to three times a week.
Nine charges related to sexual assaults committed at Lough Gara, Gurteen. During the particularly hot summers of 2010 and 2011, Doyle would take the girl, then aged 13 to 15, to a secluded area of the lake away from the main area where others would be swimming.
He would get her to remove her swimsuit or take it off himself and take his own off and he would then molest her. Doyle also sexually assaulted the girl in a tent at the family home when she and her father were camping.
On an unspecified date in May 2009, Doyle raped his wife, Olivia Tuite, on the night before he was due to go to England to bury his mother.
He grabbed her, twisted her around and pushed her down on the couch, breaking it. After raping her he grabbed the beer bottle he had been drinking from, put the neck of it into the woman's vagina and tilted it to pour the remaining beer out.
He said “that will take care of that” and she understood that he was saying the alcohol would prevent her from getting pregnant. He got up, leaving the bottle inside her, told her to clean up the mess and went to bed.
The sexual assault with the bottle is the basis for the second rape offence. Justice Biggs said the use of the bottle was degrading and humiliating and that this, along with his disregard for the woman after the rape, was an aggravating factor.
The third rape took place in May 2011 after Doyle had drank a full bottle of whiskey and eight cans of lager. He was “out cold on the couch” when the victim went to bed.
Some time later she heard Doyle coming into the bedroom and slamming the door before grabbing her arm and twisting it up her back. The woman was struggling to get away, but Doyle was pushing her face down and she was finding it hard to breath.
The woman told the court that she was thinking “I am going to die and there will be no one to look after my children”. Doyle raped her and she lost consciousness and she woke up later on the floor of the room with a bruise on her temple.
Reading from her victim impact statement, Ms Tuite said that she suffers from depression and doesn't know if she will ever trust men again or be in a physical relationship again.
She said that in the immediate aftermath of the rapes she didn't want anyone touching her and hated herself because she couldn't hug her children. She said she felt ashamed and angry with herself for not being able to stop the rape.
“I used to be a bubbly and chatty person who only saw the good in people but now I am closed off and never let anyone get close to me,” she said. The woman said that she turned to comfort eating and is now clinically obese and unable to work as a result.
Her daughter told the court that “my father stole my childhood, he robbed me of innocence and replaced it with humiliation, feelings of worthlessness and anger”.
“The man who was meant to be my hero turned out to be the villain,” she said. She said the fear of her father kept her silent and she also blamed herself. She said she later turned to alcohol and other mind numbing substances to cope.
She said she only decided to go to gardaí after her parents separated, and her father began seeking visitation rights to her younger sisters.
“It was and always has been about protecting those girls,”, she said. She told the court that she still endures the trauma of the abuse and that “deep down I am still that little girl who is completely lost and terrified”.
Defending counsel Desmond Dockery SC told the court that as his client does not accept the jury verdicts he was limited in what he could offer in mitigation. He said the offending ran up to 2012 when his client left the family home, after intervention from social services.
Justice Biggs said Doyle's abuse of his daughter was a systematic pattern of sexual interference with a young child by person who in a position to have total control over her. She said it resulted in the “almost complete destruction of her childhood” and said the damage done to the victim cannot be quantified.
She told both survivors that they are both incredibly strong women and that Irish society owes them a debt of gratitude because without women like them sex offenders could not be prosecuted.
“They are both magnificent women, I hope that some day they will both see how truly truly magnificent they are,” she said.
She set a headline sentence of 15 years. She said in the absence of any remorse shown by Doyle, she was limited in terms of mitigating factors but noted Doyle's work history since the offending, his mental health issues and his lack of any previous offending.
She reduced the sentence to 12½ years but also ordered that Doyle be subject to two years of post-release supervision, noting that he is assessed as being at a moderate risk of reoffending.
*This article was amended at 19:45 on o6/03/2023
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.