Man who acted on ‘paedophilic sexual interest’ in girl (7) is jailed

‘I felt terrorised in my childhood bedroom, in ways I cannot describe,’ says victim

Kenneth McDonald (54) from Wexford town was convicted last July of rape and indecent assault of his then girlfriend’s younger sister

Kenneth McDonald (54) from Wexford town was convicted last July of rape and indecent assault of his then girlfriend’s younger sister

 

A man who acted on a “paedophilic sexual interest” he had in a schoolgirl has been given a seven-year sentence for her rape and sexual assault.

After a trial at the Central Criminal Court Kenneth McDonald (54) from Wexford town was convicted last July of rape and indecent assault of his then girlfriend’s younger sister at locations in Co Wexford on dates between January 1987 and November 1994. The attacks began when the complainant was aged seven and had just started primary school.

McDonald had pleaded not guilty and continues to deny the offending. During his sentence hearing four people, including his partner and their daughter, took to the stand to give testimonials to his good character.

The court heard that the trial has “ripped apart” the family.

Mr Justice Alexander Owens said it was clear from the evidence that McDonald had “a paedophilic sexual interest” in the child which left his victim terrified.

In an impact statement the victim, who is waiving her anonymity, told the court the abuse destroyed her childhood and has haunted her adulthood.

“I felt terrorised in my childhood bedrooms, in ways I cannot describe. My words would do no justice to the devastation it caused. My family life, my relationships, my education and my career have all suffered immensely as a result,” she said.

She described feelings of rage, fear, shame and confusion and a feeling that my body was not my own.

“My sense of self and self-worth was taken from me,” she said. She finished her statement by saying, “I may always be this victim, but I am also a survivor”.

Garda Ian Doyle told the court that the first incident occurred in the summertime, shortly after the victim had started primary school.

The man came into the child’s bedroom in the evening time, lay her face down on the bed and put his hand inside her clothes. He molested her, telling the child “you will enjoy it”.

Opportunistic predator

On another occasion at a similar time, the man again entered the child’s room in the evening and raped her.

The judge described his actions as depraved. He said the assaults were the acts of an immature and opportunistic predator.

After taking into consideration what he said were McDonald’s immaturity at the time and the passing of time since the offending, he set a headline sentence of 11 years.

He said the mitigating factors were McDonald’s good character since the offending. The judge said he accepted that McDonald has led the life of a person of good character since and is held in high regard.

He finalised the sentence at seven years. He said he would not suspend any of the sentence and noted that McDonald has made it clear he will not engage in therapy.

McDonald was convicted of one count of rape at a house in Co Wexford in 1987. The jury also found him guilty of three counts of indecent assault and two of sexual assault.