A Laois man who raped and sexually assaulted his step-daughter over an eight-year period has today received a 12-year prison sentence.
Noel Maher began sexually assaulting Amy Kenna in August 2001, when she was 10 years old and began raping her when she was aged 13.
The Central Criminal Court heard that the victim was waiving her right to anonymity so that Maher can be identified.
Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan said that the victim had undergone great suffering and had "shown great courage and resilience".
He said that the appropriate sentence was 14 years and, noting the absence of any expression of remorse, he found no mitigating circumstances in Maher's defence.
He suspended the last two years of the sentence in order to encourage the 42-year-old to rehabilitate and stressed that this is conditional on Maher taking part in a sex offender's programme while in prison.