Man jailed for abusing special needs girl
She said she thought she was going to be sick during the assault and she was angry with the man for doing it. She said she was embarrassed having to tell people what had happened and she was afraid social workers were going to take her away. “It took them a long time to say we could stay,” she said.
She said she was afraid of having to come to court and wondered why the man had not told the judge he did do it until the second day of the trial because it meant she had to come to court, people had to take time off work and the barristers had to put all the work into the case.
She said he should also have told the gardaí the truth when they arrested him.
The victim spoke of how she missed her foster father’s family. “I don’t get to see his family anymore and I miss them and they said they would call but they don’t.”
Judge Ring said the victim had special needs and challenges but she shared the need for love and security of family that the man and his wife had initially provided herself and her foster brothers. She noted that the “disturbing” aspect of the case was the delay caused by the HSE and said it was bewildering as they showed “slight or no regard for her care” by their actions.
Judge Ring said the victim had outlined in her “comprehensive” statement that the delay in the case coming to court had particularly upset her. She took into account that the man had pleaded guilty but said he had done so at the “11th and a half hour”. She said she could not ignore this. “She needed to be secure in the belief that she was safe at home,” the judge said.
“He broke the trust of a child whose care had been entrusted to him when her early security had already been breached,” Judge Ring continued before she added she was happy to hear that the victim’s foster mother continues to provide her love and support.
James Dwyer BL, defending, told Judge Ring that his client has since re-married and has always had a good work history. He asked the court to accept that he has no previous convictions and no other allegations have been made against him.
Mr Dwyer described it as a “tragic case” and said the difficult ordeal for the victim had been outlined in her “eloquently worded” victim impact report.