Man convicted of sexually assaulting daughter during access visits

Court told victim, who was in foster care, aged between four and eight at time of abuse

A jury has found a man guilty of repeatedly sexually assaulting his daughter over a four-year period.

A jury has found a man guilty of repeatedly sexually assaulting his daughter over a four-year period.

 

A jury has found a man guilty of repeatedly sexually assaulting his daughter over a four-year period.

The 64-year-old had pleaded not guilty to the oral rape and sexual assault of the complainant on various occasions between 2000 and 2004 when she was aged between four and eight.

He has also denied two charges of child neglect by forcing her to drink alcohol and to watch pornography. The offending took place in a home in the Midlands area.

The man cannot be named to protect the anonymity of the victim, who is now aged in her 20s.

In the first criminal trial to take place at Croke Park, Dublin, the jury of eight men and four women took just over two hours to find the man guilty of oral rape and sexual assault.

Access visits

The victim had testified that she spent most of her childhood in foster care but said her father had access visits. She said during these visits he was often drunk and would force her to watch pornography while he masturbated.

She said he would also sexually molest her and forced her to perform oral sex on him. She said he also got her to drink cider on one occasion.

Justice David Keane remanded the man into custody to appear for sentencing on May 17th.

In his closing speech, Garnet Orange SC, prosecuting, told jurors that the evidence of the complainant was compelling, consistent and clear. He said that undoubtedly she had loved her father and asked jurors to consider why she would make up these allegations.

Not credible

He said the explanation the accused gave to gardaí­ about how their relationship broke down was not credible.

The accused had told gardaí­that when she was a teenager the victim had stayed out late on one of her access visits and had lost his temper with her when she came home and told her she could not come to the house again.

When interviewed by gardaí­ the accused was unable to give an explanation as to how the victim knew he was circumcised.

Fiona Murphy SC, defending, submitted there were inconsistencies between the complainant’s evidence and the evidence of other witnesses.

Witnesses from the HSE told the trial that they took their job very seriously and monitored the defendant’s drinking very closely. The man told gardaí­ that he did not drink in front of the child and would cancel access visits if he had begun drinking that day.

The jury heard that the complainant has initiated civil proceedings against the HSE and her former foster parents.

The four-day trial was the first to run at the GAA headquarters, which is being used to facilitate social distancing during the pandemic.