A Dublin man who had sex with his teenage daughter at a house party seven years ago has been jailed for six years.
The now 22-year-old victim waived her right to anonymity so that her father, Andrew Durran (aged 41), can be named publicly.
Durran fled the country in 2009 during the investigation but was brought back to Ireland from Spain on a European Arrest Warrant in December 2012. He has been in custody since.
The father-of-seven, with a previous address at Dromheath Avenue, Blanchardstown, took a trial date but eventually pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to defilement of a child at Parlickstown Drive, Mulhuddart on January 21, 2007.
He has 16 previous convictions for road traffic offences and a five-year sentence for assault from 1994.
Detective Garda Tom Cooney told Garret Baker BL, prosecuting, that Durran had lost contact with his daughter from when she was aged 10 until a few months before the crime after he split with her mother.
They met up again in November 2006 when she got his phone number from a cousin.
Det Gda Cooney said Durran separated from another partner around New Years Eve 2006. He went to stay with a friend at the Parlickstown Drive premises, where he let his then 15-year-old daughter drink six glasses of vodka and Red Bull at the party.
The teenager went upstairs feeling intoxicated and lay on top of a bed in her underwear in the spare room she was sharing that night with her father.
A short time later she heard Durran come into the room and get into bed. He turned her over, pulled her on top of him and lay her back down to remove her underwear.
He then pulled his daughter on top of him again and had sex with her. She later told gardaí she said nothing and kept her eyes closed during the incident.
Det Gda Cooney said the victim left the room shortly after her father and told a female in the house what had happened. She then rang her mother, who told her to go to her grandmother’s house.
Gardaí arrived at the grandmother’s house to meet the victim and take her to hospital for examination.
Det Gda Cooney told Mr Baker that garda forensics found evidence linking Durran.
Durran met voluntarily with gardaí after the incident and told them his daughter had been “very clingy to me” by hanging out of his neck and trying to get “jockey backs” from him at the party.
He said he helped her get out of her tights when she went up to bed and gave her a kiss on the cheek, before going back downstairs to resume drinking.
Durran claimed that his daughter returned to the party a short time later, but they both eventually went up to bed.
He told gardaí he fell asleep after he let her use his phone and woke up to find the girl moving on top of him and kissing him on the face and lips. He claimed he didn’t know if he’d had sexual intercourse.
Det Gda Cooney agreed with Ms Biggs that her client had “fundamentally” accepted that sex occurred and stated he was “gutted and suicidal as a result”.
He further agreed there had been “enormous amounts” of drink consumed by the victim and the adults at the party.
In a letter read out in court by Mr Baker, the 22-year-old revealed that when she made contact with Durran after years of separation: “I really felt the father-daughter bond and I believed he felt it too.”
She said she realised in hindsight that there were “bad signs” from the start.
She now noticed how he had had more interest in seeing her even though she had other siblings and that he been grooming her emotionally through buying her “alcohol and smokes”.
The mother-of-three described the incident as “the worst night of my life” and “like something out of a horror film.”
“The day my father will walk free, I will be serving the life sentence he imposed on me,” she expressed in the letter.
She said she still struggles to sleep, feels uncomfortable around men and that deep depression can hit at any time.
Det Gda Cooney agreed with Caroline Biggs SC, defending, that her client hadn’t contested the extradition from Spain and had appeared almost glad to go to jail.
Ms Biggs submitted to Judge Mary Ellen Ring that her client pleaded guilty to the offence to spare his daughter giving evidence at trial.
Counsel submitted that Durran was “depressed, isolated and suicidal” in Spain and suggested that “even when he is let go from prison, he will not walk free in his mind”.
Judge Ring acknowledged that the crime was going to cause the victim difficulties for the rest of her life.
She said Durran knew she was vulnerable and described his behaviour as “one of the most fundamental breaches of trust in life.”
She imposed a seven-year sentence backdated to when he entered custody in December 2012.
The judge suspended the final 12 months and directed Durran to undergo post release supervision for one year and follow any recommendations for treatment programmes.
Durran had previously been placed on the sex offenders register.