Man (53) who abused five girls is jailed for five and a half years

Central Criminal Court hears man was aged between 12 and 20 at time of offences

A Dublin man who sexually abused five girls in the 1980s has been jailed for five and a half years.

The man (53), who cannot be named to protect the identity of the victims, was neighbours with the victims and abused them when they were visitors to his home.

The Central Criminal Court heard that the man was aged between 12 and 20 years old around the time of the offending.

The man pleaded guilty to one count of rape and six counts of indecent assault at an address in a Dublin town on dates between 1980 and 1988. He has no previous convictions.

Passing sentence on Friday, Mr Justice Paul McDermott noted the young age of the victims who had suffered various degrees of abuse and who each suffered its effects, some very serious and continuing today.

Mr Justice McDermott said a happy childhood for these children had been overshadowed by these dreadful offences.

The judge noted the man’s intellectual functioning was on the borderline range and he had to consider the man’s age at the time of the offending. He said the man had been growing and developing, but perhaps not maturing.

He took into account the extensive and repeated nature of the offending and the evidence that the man knew what he was doing was wrong and had gone about it in a predatory way.

The judge noted in mitigation the man’s guilty plea, his age and the passage of time. He said the man had led an otherwise blameless life and had some health issues.

Mr Justice McDermott sentenced the man to consecutive terms totalling six and a half years and suspended the final year for three years to encourage rehabilitation on strict conditions, including undergoing any assessment for a program addressing his offending.

He also ordered that the man not approach or have contact with the injured parties and not be in the company of a child under 18 years old unless in the company of another adult.

The victims reported the offences to gardaí­ in 2017. The man was interviewed by gardaí­ and denied any such misconduct, but pleaded guilty on a trial date in November 2021..