Meath father of two jailed for filming teenage daughter in child pornography
Court heard man had created a ‘dress-up room’ in the attic of the family home
Judge Martin Nolan described it as “an appalling case and said the man had “destroyed the trust” of his daughter on numerous occasions
A father of two in Meath, who told gardaí that pornographic videos and images he had taken of his 14-year-old daughter were “just showbusiness”, has been sentenced to 11 years in prison.
The court heard that the man had created a dress-up room in the attic of the family home and would make his daughter wear sexualised outfits before photographing her. Gardaí found 1,150 still pornographic images of the girl and 74 movie files following a search of the house. The victim told gardaí her father would tell her it was only acting. The man initially told gardaí in interview she was a willing participant and said he didn’t see anything wrong with what had happened.
He identified himself in various video clips simulating sex with his daughter but denied he wanted to have intercourse with her and described it as a bit “of fun”.
The 47-year-old man pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to six charges each of sexual assault, producing child pornography and allowing one’s child to be used in child pornography on dates between May 2010 and April 2011.
The man, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty three weeks before the trial was to take place last April. Judge Martin Nolan described it as “an appalling case, to put it mildly” and said the man had “destroyed the trust” of his daughter on numerous occasions.
“Parents have two obligations to their children, to mind them physically and morally,” the judge said, adding that the moral care the man gave to this child was gravely reprehensible. He said the fact the man thought it was “okay” to use his daughter in this way was “deeply perverted and to think that no harm would be caused to her is deeply shocking”.
Judge Nolan said the man had used his child to satisfy his sexual fantasies and that it was clear from the victim impact report she was “an intelligent girl who had been deeply traumatised”. He said he hopes in time the damage her father has done will be fixed “by the love of her mother and the help of her friends”. He suspended the last two years of the sentence.
Det Garda Shane Curran told Carl Hanahoe, prosecuting, the incidents were reported to gardaí after the man’s wife discovered a camera on a hall table that had pornographic images of their daughter on it.
Padraig Dwyer SC, defending, said his client was “more than sorry” for putting his daughter through this and he now realises the wrong he has done her and his family.
Counsel asked the court to accept that his client’s plea of guilty, lack of previous convictions and the fact the material was not distributed for commercial gain were mitigating factors in the case.
Victim impact report
Det Garda Curran read the girl’s victim impact report in which she outlined how much she had loved her father and how she would have done anything to keep him happy. She blamed herself for getting him arrested. “I didn’t want them to take my dad away.”
She said her father would say horrible things about her mother and brainwashed her against the woman so she could get close to her.
She said she still dreams about what he had done to her and wakes up upset and angry. “My Dad is in prison and he deserves it. I am afraid he will hurt my Mam because she reported him,” she said in her report, before adding that she often wondered why her father did these things to her when he said he loved her.