Man sentenced to 10 years for rape and abuse of daughter

Convicted man engineered opportunities in order to attack daughter, judge says

During the two-week trial the man’s lawyers put it to the victim that she had fabricated the allegations in order to explain to her husband why she wasn’t a virgin after their marriage. Photograph by Matt Kavanagh

During the two-week trial the man’s lawyers put it to the victim that she had fabricated the allegations in order to explain to her husband why she wasn’t a virgin after their marriage. Photograph by Matt Kavanagh

 

A man who began to rape and abuse his young daughter from when she was just 10 years old until she married in 2015 shortly before her 18th birthday has been jailed at the Central Criminal Court for 10 years.

The 41-year-old Dublin man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the victim, was convicted after a trial that ended last February of multiple counts of sexual assault and rape of his daughter on various dates between 2009 and 2015.

During the two-week trial the man’s lawyers put it to the victim that she had fabricated the allegations in order to explain to her husband why she wasn’t a virgin after their marriage. Patrick Gageby SC put it to the woman, now in her early 20s, that she was afraid her husband “would send her back”.

The woman denied this suggestion and testified that she was telling the truth. The court heard that shortly after the offending came to light there was a serious attack on her abuser. A relative of the victim is facing charges in relation to this.

The man, with an address in north Dublin, denied the allegations.

Passing sentence on Wednesday Mr Justice Tony Hunt said that the offending involved repetitive abuse, and the man had engineered opportunities in order to attack the child.

The behaviour represented a serious breach of trust, said the judge.

He suspended the final year of an 11-year prison term on condition that the man keep the peace and heed Probation Service instructions for a year after his release. He also ordered that the man have no contact whatsoever with the victim.

Maddie Grant, prosecuting, told the court that the victim wished to waive her anonymity so that her abuser could be named. The judge ordered a stay on this for legal reasons but said the matter could be brought back to the court.

Victim-impact statement

In her victim-impact statement, which was read out before the court, the woman said her childhood was stolen from her by her father. She said she remembers waking up every day wondering why he was doing this to her.

The only memories she had were of the abuse. “The one man who was supposed to keep me safe was hurting me,” she said. The woman said she never felt safe in her home while he was there.

A local garda told Shane Costelloe SC, prosecuting, that prior to the victim attending secondary school, the man began to molest her by touching her privates on numerous occasions.

The initial abuse had taken place in the home of the victim. The man was no longer living at the address at the time of the offences but he would often sleep in the house. He was convicted of raping his daughter on five occasions.

On one of these occasions, he brought his daughter shopping. Instead of bringing her home, he took her to a B&B where he raped her. He was remembered by the B&B owner because he left without staying for the night, or paying his bill. The abuse came to an end after the woman’s marriage to her husband.