Man to be sentenced for sexually abusing younger adopted sister

Rapist told victim it was not wrong because they were not biological siblings

The man pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to around 28 counts of indecent assault and rape of the woman on dates between 1974 and 1979 inclusive. The counts are sample counts from an indictment of 103 charges. Photograph:  Collins Courts.

The man pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to around 28 counts of indecent assault and rape of the woman on dates between 1974 and 1979 inclusive. The counts are sample counts from an indictment of 103 charges. Photograph: Collins Courts.

 

A 60-year-old man was aged 13 when he began a six-year period of sexually abusing his younger adopted sister, a court has heard.

In an attempt to justify the abuse, the Dublin man told his sister that it was not wrong because they were not biological siblings. He also claimed to her that a Catholic priest had told him to practice sex on his sister.

The man, who cannot be named to protect the woman’s anonymity, began molesting the girl in their family home in Dublin when she was about 10 years old or younger. For the next six years, he repeatedly molested her and went on to rape and orally rape her.

He pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to around 28 counts of indecent assault and rape of the woman on dates between 1974 and 1979 inclusive. The counts are sample counts from an indictment of 103 charges.

Derek Cooney BL, prosecuting, told the court that the siblings both suffered from extreme violence at the hands of their adopted mother who suffered from bipolar syndrome which went unmedicated.

Reading her own victim impact statement in court, the woman said that the defendant should have been there to protect her from the physical mental and verbal violence of her mother.

“He should have been there as my friend, my hero, my protector” but instead she said he used her for his own gratification and to satisfy his sexual curiosity.

“I was a thing, I was an object. He took what he wanted.” she said. She said her strongest memory of the abuse is having her brother hold her hands above her head as he molested and raped her.

‘Unspeakable hell’

He would also force her to read out sexually explicit passages out of books.

She said she was a survivor of child rape, but that those six years were an “unspeakable hell” for her and the damage caused by the abuse will “never end til the day I die”.

She said that her father and siblings have not stood by her since she has come forward about the abuse. She said they seemed to view her speaking out about the abuse as a worse crime than the abuse.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt noted that given the defendant has “put his hands up” and expressed remorse, “perhaps it’s time for others to take their cue from that”.

The woman said that as a child she could not tell anyone in house about the abuse because of the atmosphere of fear and strictness. After her mother died, she began to process the abuse and went to counselling.

She wrote to her brother who replied by text and that he had blocked everything out and “it was a huge shock to him”.

He told her he was very sorry for what he did and asked her to give him “one last Christmas” with his wife and son before going to gardaí­.

In a letter handed into court, the man said he deeply regretted his actions and does not understand why he did what he did.

“The guilt I feel is unbearable at times. I should have been there for her. I will live with that guilt and remorse for the rest of my life,” he stated.

Roisin Lacey SC, defending, said the both her client and the complainant suffered horrific domestic violence which was rooted in their mother’s mental health issues.

‘Blameless life’

She said that the abuse ended when her client turned 18 and met his current wife. She said he had worked all his life as a tradesman.

She said that a key feature of a lengthy psychological report was her client’s lack of memory around certain matters in his childhood. The report noted a number of incidents of violence at the hands of his mother, including one where she stabbed him with a kitchen knife.

Counsel asked the court to consider as mitigation her client’s early guilty pleas, his youth at the time of offending, his leading of a “blameless life” since the offending, his remorse and victim empathy and the fact that he is assessed at being at a low risk of reoffending.

Mr Justice Hunt adjourned finalisation until January 31st.