Clare man jailed for sexual abuse of teenager

Woman tells court her life was interrupted by ‘sick predator’

The complaint said Tom Daly’s ‘sick sexual needs’ resulted in her parents ‘losing their little girl at a very young age’.

The complaint said Tom Daly’s ‘sick sexual needs’ resulted in her parents ‘losing their little girl at a very young age’.

 

A man has been sentenced to four years in jail, with six months suspended, for the sexual abuse of a teenage girl over a four-year period.

At Ennis Circuit Court on Tuesday, Judge Gerald Keys said Tom Daly (57) groomed and then sexually abused the girl “for his own sexual gratification” when she was aged 14 to 17 between 1996 and 1999.

Judge Keys told Mr Daly he would suspend the final six months of the four-year jail term “to show a ray of hope for your future”.

Married father of two, Daly of Abbeyville, Clare Road, Ennis was found guilty on nine counts of sexual assault by a jury in June.

Judge Keys said Daly has shown a lack of appreciation of his wrong-doing and a failure to show remorse despite the findings of jury. He told Daly his conduct has had a profound and damaging impact on the complainant to this day.

The judge said the offences came within the higher level of these type of offences where a maximum sentence of five years applies.

Daly had abused his position as a family friend and groomed the girl, the judge said.

In her victim impact statement, the complaint said Daly’s “sick sexual needs” resulted in her parents “losing their little girl at a very young age and not knowing why for many years”.

The woman told the court her “life was interrupted by a sick predator”.

“It has taken years and years of therapy for me to work through those toxic years and for my parents, it has been completely devastating,” she said.

At the sentencing hearing, the court heard Daly groped the teenager and performed oral sex on her without her consent.

Over the course of three Garda interviews in 2015 Daly repeatedly denied the allegations of abuse.

In reply to one section of the victim’s Garda statement, Daly said: “I would never behave in an unmannerly fashion like that with my wife let alone a child.”

Speaking after Tuesday’s sentencing, the complainant said “justice has been served”. She said it was three years since she made her first statement to gardaí.

“It is a lengthy process but it has been worth it in the end,” she said.

“Sexual abuse is rampant in this country and the court system is scary, so I understand why people don’t come forward, but I would definitely urge people to come forward.”

She said the sentencing “sends a good clear message to other sexual abusers that our justice system will get them”.