Seven years for sex abuse of vulnerable teenager

Judge says woman had shown ‘tremendous strength and resilience’

The Dublin Circuit Criminal Court: David Cashin, Thornleigh Court, Applewood Village, Swords, got a seven-year jail sentence yesterday at the court. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

The Dublin Circuit Criminal Court: David Cashin, Thornleigh Court, Applewood Village, Swords, got a seven-year jail sentence yesterday at the court. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Sat, Jul 12, 2014, 01:00

Fiona Ferguson

A man who sexually abused a vulnerable teenage girl has been jailed for seven years.

David Cashin (46), of Thornleigh Court, Applewood Village, Swords, had been convicted last month by a jury at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court following a five day trial of sexual assault and buggery of the girl on dates between October 2002 and February 2005. The child was aged 14-years-old and Cashin was 35 when the abuse began.

Judge Sarah Berkeley said the abuse had been “a gross breach of trust involving a vulnerable young girl”. She said the abuse had been “systematic” and that it fell at the upper middle range of gravity. She noted that there had not been any violence involved.

Judge Berkeley said the young woman had shown “tremendous strength and resilience” and noted Cashin had not spared her having to give evidence. She imposed concurrent sentences totalling seven years.

Garda Alan Carberry told Anne Rowland BL, prosecuting, that the young girl suffered a series of tragedies in her life before coming into contact with Cashin whom she grew to trust.

The abuse began in late 2002. Later Cashin asked the girl to perform oral sex and gave her money. The child began to feel as if she was in a relationship with Cashin. They began having sexual intercourse in 2003 .Sexual contact continued a few times a week until the girl was 17 years old. Cashin also took naked photographs of the girl and videotaped them having anal sex. The tape was later destroyed at the girl’s request.

He would punish the girl if she did not please him sexually using various methods of control.

The woman outlined in her victim impact statement that she had been a child who was willing to please but Cashin had controlled and used her for his own satisfaction. “I was a puppet and he was the puppet master”, said the woman.

She said on hearing the verdicts she had cried tears, not of joy or sadness, but of validation.

Patrick Gageby SC, defending, said Cashin has no previous convictions and there had been no suggestion of him offending against anyone else sexually or otherwise. He submitted the offences had not been perpetrated by violence or fear.

Mr Gageby said the court had a difficult task to reconcile the natural revulsion for these offences with the good qualities displayed by Cashin and outlined in testimonials given to the court.

The court heard Cashin, who is unemployed, suffers difficulties with anxiety and stomach complaints.