Galway man jailed for five years for abuse of niece from when she was age 6

Child’s mother said abuse had ‘torn our family apart’

The man (31), who cannot be named to protect his victim’s identity,    extended an apology to the victim and her family.

The man (31), who cannot be named to protect his victim’s identity, extended an apology to the victim and her family.

 

A Galway man has been jailed for five years after admitting the sexual abuse of his young niece for three years.

The man (31), who cannot be named to protect his victim’s identity, began abusing the child when she was aged six years old. The Central Criminal Court heard he later admitted to the Probation Services that he was aroused by her innocence.

He pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to sexually assaulting and sexually exploiting his niece at his home on dates between June 9, 2013 and July 16, 2016.

A local garda told Paddy McCarthy SC, prosecuting, that the abuse occurred when the victim visited her grandparent’s house, where her uncle also lived. He would take his niece on walks near the house and coax her into sexual acts. The man would also come into her bedroom when she stayed over in the house.

On one occasion he came into the bedroom and shone a light in her eyes. He took out his penis and asked if he could put it in her mouth, but she refused.

On another occasion he showed his niece a pornographic video on his phone. He made promises about giving her sweets and money and told her not to tell anyone about what he was doing.

The abuse came to light when the victim told her cousin about what had happened and this cousin then convinced her to tell her mother.

The garda said it was his view that the defendant “has not shown any remorse”. The man has no previous convictions and has not come to garda attention since.

Manipulated

Justice Alex Owens said that the man had manipulated a young child. The victim adored her uncle and he took advantage of this, the court heard.

The judge said he took into consideration evidence that the man was himself sexually abused as a child. He noted the man’s limited intellectual ability and reduced a nine year sentence to six years to reflect this mitigating factor.

He suspended the final year on condition that man stay away from children in person or via the Internet. He also imposed four years of post-release supervision.

In a victim impact statement, which was read out in court, the victim’s mother said her daughter’s “childhood has been destroyed and her innocence has been taken”.

She said her daughter found concentration hard as the abuse was always on her mind. She said her daughter had nightmares about what happened and was in constant fear of seeing her uncle.

She said the abuse had “torn our family apart” and that her parents had disowned her and her daughter. She said her daughter could not understand why her grandparents did not want to see her when she had done nothing wrong.

Bernard Madden SC, defending, said that on behalf of his client he extended an apology to the victim and her family. He said his client was of low cognitive ability and described him as a “psychologically vulnerable man”.