Man who carried out 'painful sexual abuse' of nephew, 13, twice a week for seven years is jailed

An uncle who raped and sexually abused his teenage nephew over a period of seven years, and who claimed they were in a consensual relationship, has been jailed for 11 years.

The 47-year-old man, who cannot be named to preserve the anonymity of his victim, was convicted by a Central Criminal Court jury following a trial last May of 11 counts of rape, 10 counts of defilement, five counts of sexual assault and one of sexual exploitation of a child.

The offences occurred on dates between 2007 and 2014 in Co. Longford.

The court heard that the “painful sexual, physical and psychological abuse” took place two to three times a week, beginning when the boy was 13 years old, and continuing until he was 20.

A local sergeant told Alex Owens SC, prosecuting, that the offences took place in the defendant's bedroom at the victim's grandmother's house, in a car while parked at a farm gateway, and at places where both the accused and the victim were working together.

The court heard the accused first sexually abused the boy in his bedroom when the victim was staying over in his grandmother's house and there were no spare rooms available.

The sergeant said the defendant constantly texted and rang his nephew throughout his teenage years, always wanting to know where he was and who he was with.

"He exercised a great deal of control and manipulation over his victim," the sergeant said.

In a victim impact statement the 22-year-old described how his uncle mentally tortured him and rendered his teenage years “a sad blur, I cannot remember any happy time.

“I was trapped, I couldn't enjoy anything. I was too scared to tell anyone. I can't look at him; he makes me sick to my stomach.”

The man said he had attempted suicide numerous times but was now in a stable relationship and had a child.

Ronan Munro SC, defending, said his client continued to maintain his innocence, and said he had a romantic, consensual relationship with his nephew, beginning when the victim was 18-years-old.

He said the defendant regularly assisted those in need in the community and had a strong record of employment.

In sentencing, Mr Justice Paul McDermott said that the use of alcohol, cigarettes, cannabis and cash to buy the victim's silence amounted to blackmail and an abhorrent abuse of trust.

“His daily teenage life was dominated by his uncle who was a bully and a manipulator.”

Mr Justice McDermott said that due to his uncle's surveillance and interference, the victim did not pursue relationships with girls during his teenage years.

“The defendant showed a callous indifference for his nephew's well-being,” he said.

He acknowledged that the probation services classed the defendant at a low risk of re-offending, but noted that during interview he was very guarded in relation to his past sexual history, and showed no insight into his wrongdoing.

Mr Justice McDermott said he had noted the defendant's lengthy employment history, the fact he only has one previous conviction for a minor offence, and testimonials stating he was a helpful member of his community.

“However, he did not enter a guilty plea, and has demonstrated a complete absence of remorse and shown no understanding of the damage he inflicted,” he said.

He sentenced the defendant to concurrent sentences totalling 11 years.

Mr Justice McDermott further directed that the man's name be entered onto the sex offenders register and undergo supervision by the probation services for five years upon his release.

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