Man jailed for rape of stepdaughter had been abused at industrial school

Girl aged six when Thomas Mullarney (61) began attacks and 13 when he raped her

Terri Mullarney told the court that the abuse was an aspect of everyday life during her childhood. Her step father, Thomas Mullarney (61), was jailed for 12 years, for raping and sexually abusing her. Photograph: Collins Courts

Terri Mullarney told the court that the abuse was an aspect of everyday life during her childhood. Her step father, Thomas Mullarney (61), was jailed for 12 years, for raping and sexually abusing her. Photograph: Collins Courts

 

A Mayo man who said he suffered abuse as a resident of an industrial school has been jailed for 12 years for the rape and abuse of his stepdaughter.

The child was aged around six when Thomas Mullarney (61) of Cahir, Louisberg, Co Mayo, first began abusing her. He continued to attack her regularly for the next decade.

The prosecution indicated to the Central Criminal Court on Monday that the victim, Terri Mullarney, wished to waive her anonymity in order to have her stepfather named.

He pleaded guilty to sexual assaults at a house in Dublin on dates between October 2003 and January 2005. He also admitted rape of the child at a house in Co Mayo on two occasions in November 2011 and in September 2014.

The court heard that Mullarney would molest her while forcing her to watch adult porn.

She was aged 13 when he raped her, after giving her wine to drink. The next day he told her he was nervous about her getting pregnant and told her to take her mother’s contraceptive pills.

The court heard that in August 2014 she went to her stepfather after a row with her boyfriend. He gave her tea and half a sleeping tablet and she awoke later to find him raping her.

She freaked out and began crying and he apologised for frightening her.

After she went to gardaí­ in 2017 the man admitted the offending. He said he was abusing cocaine and alcohol at the time and didn’t remember all the alleged incidents but told gardaí­ that the victim’s account was reliable.

Abuse compensation

Mary Rose Gearty SC, defending, said her client was institutionalised by his treatment at the industrial schools in Artane and Clonmel. She said he later received compensation for the abuse and spent the money on alcohol and cocaine.

She said that a psychological assessment that placed him at a high risk of recidivism was based on his social isolation and previous abuse of drink and drugs. The psychologist noted that while those who suffered abuse did not usually go on to abuse others, “it is a noted consequence in a minority of cases”.

Mr Justice White said he found it difficult to understand how anyone who had undergone that horrific ordeal could visit it again on another child.

He paid tribute to the courage of the injured party and said that the only person responsible for the abuse was the perpetrator.

Reading from her victim impact statement, Terri Mullarney told the court that the abuse was an aspect of everyday life during her childhood. She said she was over-sexualised from a very early age, including simulating sex with teddy bears and dolls.

Mr Justice White noted the devastating effects of the abuse on the victim, who considered Mullarney to be her dad and described a special bond with him.

He said the court also had wider concerns in relation to the hallmark of making the victim feel special, which he said reflected a very serious type of “grooming” on Mullarney’s part.

Mr Justice White imposed consecutive sentences totalling 14 years and suspended the final two years on strict conditions.