Donegal man remanded for abuse of sister

A Donegal man has been remanded in custody pending sentence after he admitted to having sex with his sister when she was between 12 and 14 years old and to sexually assaulting her in their family home over 16 years ago.

The 35-year-old accused, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his victim, pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to two charges of incest and 20 charges of sexual assault on her when she was under the age of 15 years old on dates between June 7, 1991 and June 6, 1996.

Mr Justice Paul Carney adjourned sentencing until tomorrow. The accused has already been registered as a sex offender.

Mr John Aylmer SC, prosecuting, said that the charges were "representative" and the victim says she was sexually abused by her brother on a weekly basis from the time she was 10 to 14 years old.

He said there were four incidents of incest where the accused had sex with his sister from the time she was 12 to 14 years old.

Garda Elaine Kelly agreed with Mr Aylmer that the now 28-year-old woman said in a victim impact statement before the court, that her brother was “a bastard” but she could now look forward to the rest of her life because he had been brought to justice.

She described how the incidents had a terrible affect on her and she was frightened to be in her bed at night. She was afraid of her brother and to tell her parents about the abuse.

The woman said she was afraid to chat to boys at school, she did not do well in her State exams and later drank alcohol to block out the abuse.

She said she felt she had lost her childhood and suffered nightmares and flashbacks.

Gda Kelly said the accused and his sister were from a large family and the sexual abuse would occur most Sunday nights when their parents were at bingo.

The woman’s first recollection of being sexually assaulted by her brother dated back to when she was 10 years old and her brother 17.

The woman told gardaí that after her 12th birthday her brother started to have sex with her.

Gda Kelly told Mr Aylmer that the woman first reported the abuse to gardaí on April 2007. She had been “prompted” to make the complainants because her brother then had a daughter himself and she was worried that the child could be subjected to similar incidents.

The woman told gardaí she had reported the abuse to her parents when she was a young teenager and they then called her brother to talk to him in her absence .

She did not know what had been said to the accused but she told gardaí that the abuse continued for some time afterwards.

Gda Kelly said the accused was arrested on August 20, 2007. He was co-operative during interview and admitted to sexually assaulting the girl.

Gda Kelly agreed with Mr Patrick Gageby SC, defending, that his client and his sister came from a hardworking family that had a good reputation.

She accepted that the man had worked hard since leaving school, had never come to garda attention and could be described as “a shy and retiring person”.

Gda Kelly further accepted that after the allegations came out the Health Service Executive and social workers investigated his client’s relationship with his young daughter but there had never been a suggestion that he had acted inappropriately towards her.

Mr Gageby said his client expressed remorse and shame for what had happened and was aware of the deep psychological affects his crime had on his sister.

Both a psychiatrist and a probation report indicated that he was at a low risk of re-offending.

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