Father who raped his young children jailed for life

Father who raped his young children jailed for life

A 73-year-old father who repeatedly raped his young daughters and sexually abused his son has been jailed for life at the Central Criminal Court today.

The Dublin man was convicted in August of 87 counts of sexually assaulting, raping and orally raping two daughters between the ages of five and 11 and sexually assaulting his son from the age of three to six at various locations from 1997 to 2002.

Mr Justice George Birmingham imposed life sentences for the “campaign of rape” he inflicted on two of his daughters and gave the man, who has no evidence of personality or psychological disorder, further sentences for sexually assaulting his son as a young boy.

He said evidence in the seven-week trial had been “truly shocking” and that references to the man being a “monster” in a “home from hell” contained no exaggeration.

“The depths of (the man’s) depravity were matched only by his deviousness and cunning,” he said.

Mr Justice Birmingham said the HSE had identified the children were at risk and put them in care but their father undertook a “campaign” to frustrate its efforts and continue his abuse.

The 19-year-old eldest victim said she lives in fear of the day her father will "come back" and pleaded with Mr Justice Birmingham to jail him for "very a long time".

"Dear dad, I loved you and trusted you and I thought you loved me the most," she read. "It was all lies, if you loved me you wouldn't have abused me or sent me away."

Her 18-year-old sister told the court that she had repeatedly self-harmed and tried to kill herself. "Since the age of four I was betrayed in the worst possible way," she read.

"He stole my whole childhood. I would have been better off if he had killed me."

The now 17-year-old male victim declined to give evidence or submit a victim impact report.

Garda Deirdre Walsh told Ms Isobel Kennedy SC (with Ms Anne Maire Lawlor BL) that the sexual abuse of the three children began in the family home prior to the children being taken into care in February 2000.

The girls were returned home later that year but the accused continued to live with the family. The girls were again taken back into care in 2001 but ran away on many occasions.

During the time the eldest girl was in care she escaped repeatedly and was sexually abused by the accused. He gave her a mobile phone to make contact with him and also gave her money so she could get away.

She was sexually abused and raped in various locations such as a McDonald’s toilet, on the DART and in hotels. She said her father told her: “This is what Daddies do.”

Her younger sister was also abused on occasions when she ran away from the care home.

Gda Walsh said the children made statements of complaint against their father in 2005 and 2006. The accused was told of the allegations and came voluntarily to the garda station where he denied the charges and told gardaí that the children had various reason for making the allegations.

He said he had suggested to eldest daughter that she make the allegations so the children could get home from care and said he had put deliberate mistakes into a letter he wrote describing how he molested his daughters.

He said his son had been put up to making the allegations by his foster mother.

Gda Walsh said the accused had previous convictions for indecent assault of children.

Both daughters read out emotional victim impact statements detailing the effects of the abuse and criticising the HSE for letting it continue after they were taken into care.

The eldest victim blamed her father for making her and her sister run away from care and said this destroyed the relationship between them.

"The HSE were as bad," she continued. "I wish they had never took me into care."

She accused them of letting the abuse continue even after they had taken her into a care home by letting her father convince her to run away.

She also accused social workers of giving her father information about her, even after she had made a statement to gardaí about the abuse.

She said the abuse followed her around "like a dark shadow” and she tried to cover it up with alcohol and drugs. She described moving in with a boyfriend at 16 and suffering domestic abuse.

"He hit me but I didn't care, nobody cared. I didn't care about my body anymore."

The younger female victim detailed the mental anguish she has suffered since the abuse. She told the court she had repeatedly self-harmed and tried to kill herself on six occasions. She also said the trial process had brought these suicidal thoughts.

"Since the age of four I was betrayed in the worst possible way," she read. "He stole my whole childhood. I would have been better off if he had killed me."

She described one occasion where she took an overdose of pills and "laughed until my liver started to fail" because she did not want to live anymore.

"Giving evidence was like being abused all over again," she added.

She also accused the HSE of letting the abuse continue once she had been taken into care.

The now 17-year-old male victim declined to give evidence or submit a victim impact report.

The eldest daughter said she began to be abused at night while everyone else was asleep. Her father would come to the sofa where she slept downstairs and kiss her, tell her he loved her and then rape her.

She would be crying sometimes and ask him to stop. It would sometimes be early morning when he left and she would be tired.

Her father told her not to tell anyone and said: "If Mam finds out she will think I love you more then her."

She said after she went into care her father would come to the home and knock on her window to tell her to run away. She said she ran away many times and was sexually abused by her father. On another occasion he took her to a hotel where they shared a double bed and he raped her.

She said her father raped her in the family home on another occasion she ran away from care and also took her on holidays where they again shared a bed and he had sex with her.

The accused also abused the girl when she stayed with him in a rented house and at locations in the countryside. When she told him he was hurting her he told her: "This is what Daddies do."

The girl also described being raped in the disabled toilets of a McDonalds by her father who then told her to make her own way back to the care home. She said she was also sexually abused in the toilets of a second shopping center.

She described being sexually abused by her father, who had placed a jacket over their laps, on a DART journey to Howth where she was raped and again sexually abused on the way back.

Her sister gave evidence of being sexually abused in bedrooms in the family home and in the bathroom while she was washing. She said she told him it was hurting but it made no difference to him.

She said she was also abused in the family van and in a holiday home the family rented.

During the trial the now 17-year-old boy gave evidence that one night he awoke and came downstairs to find his father in the sitting room watching his eldest sister naked on the television. He said his father roared at him to get out.

He said that about once a week his father used to make him touch his private parts and he would be upset and crying afterwards. His father would also sneak up on him in the bathroom and abuse him. He said this made him afraid to use the bathroom and he would go anywhere to avoid using the toilet itself.

The boy said this continued until he went to the foster home. His foster mother gave evidence that he would go to the toilet in drawers and would then cover it with clean clothes.

Mr Justice Birmingham recalled the “physical manifestation” of the extent the man “terrorised” one of his daughters as it had been necessary to find a way for her to enter the witness box without passing close to him.

The judge said the 73-year-old man had seemed “unconcerned about the ordeal to which he was subjecting his daughter”.

He said the offences were at the “absolute” upper end of seriousness that denied the three complainants of their childhood.

He said that though it was unusual for a court to impose the maximum sentence, the man had raped two of his daughters in defiance of HSE efforts to protect them and while he was on bail for an earlier sex offence.

The judge said he couldn’t imagine a situation more serious that when a “campaign of rape” is carried out in defiance of the HSE.

He gave the man, who has no evidence of personality or psychological disorder, further sentences for sexually assaulting his son as a young boy.

Mr Blaise O’Carroll SC, defending, had asked the judge to take into consideration his client’s age and health when sentencing.

Mr O’Carroll revealed that the elderly man had ongoing hearth problems, had been described by health experts as “physically frail” and is on medication.

Mr O’Carroll also submitted that his client had presented himself voluntarily at the garda station to “unlabour” gardaí in this context of the investigation.


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