Man jailed for sex abuse of sister and niece

A man who says he was sexually abused as a child has been jailed for three years after admitting to the sexual abuse of two female relatives nearly 30 years apart.

The 50-year-old began abusing his younger sister in 1982 when she was aged 12. Over the following two years there were around 50 incidents of indecent assault.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that the abuse of the first victim involved him forcing her to touch him or perform a sex act on him.

The court heard that there were no acts of abuse for a 26-year period during which the man had stopped drinking but that he began drinking again in 2010.

He then molested his 12-year-old niece on a single occasion in 2010 by touching her breasts.

He pleaded guilty to seven counts of indecently assaulting the first victim at a house in Dublin between August 1982 and December 1984. He also pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting the second victim between October and November 2010.

Judge Carmel Stewart noted that the family had been “rocked to their foundations” by the abuse and taking all matters into account she believed a custodial sentence was warranted.

She imposed consecutive sentences totalling five years but suspended the last two years for a period of four years on strict conditions with a view to rehabilitation. She ordered that he undergo post release supervision for the suspended portion of the sentence.

Defence counsel Austin Ó Briain BL said that his client said that he himself was molested at a swimming pool by a group of men when he was a child.

This abuse allegedly began when the man was aged six and continued for over seven years, Mr Ó Briain said. He told the court that his client was raped by one of these men.

He said that his client had serious addictions problems from the age of 12 involving the abuse of drugs, methylated spirits, and glue.

In 1984 while sleeping on the streets he met someone who introduced him to Alcoholics Anonymous. Mr Ó Briain said that a few months after attending AA meetings his client went to his victim and apologised to her.

Counsel said that his client had a “Pauline conversion” after going to AA.

Mr Ó Briain told the court that the married father started drinking again in late 2010 as a result of family problems.

It was at this time that the most recent offence took place. The second victim told her family about the incident in 2011 and the man was arrested later that year.

Mr Ó Briain said his client is a man who has deep regrets about these periods in his life and is keenly aware of the consequences of what he did.

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