A man who sexually abused his step-daughter over 100 times has been sentenced to eight years at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.
The 47-year-old Dublin man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his now 13-year-old victim, pleaded guilty to 12 representative counts of sexual assaults in their family home between December 2007 and May 2010. She was aged eight to 11 years old at the time.
He has previous convictions from the District Court for minor road traffic and public order offences.
Judge Martin Nolan said that the young girl had been deeply affected by the crime and initially obeyed the man’s instructions not to disclose the abuse, out of love for him and fear he would go to prison.
The judge said to molest the girl over 100 times was “incredibly serious” and the man had “cruelly abused her trust”.
Judge Nolan accepted the man had confessed immediately and was unlikely to re-offend. He further accepted that since the revelations, he no longer has contact with his wife, sons or extended family.
“To abuse a girl so young is entirely reprehensible and there must be a substantial element of punishment,” Judge Nolan said before he suspended the final two years of the term having taken into account the man’s co-operation with gardaí.
Detective Garda Stephen Ryan told Cormac Quinn BL, prosecuting, that the man abused the girl by digitally penetrating her vagina while he masturbated.
He said the girl reported the abuse to her mother in May 2010 and the man was immediately told to leave the house. The Health Service Executive was contacted and the gardaí were alerted.
The man appeared at his local garda station two days later, with blood all over his arms and clothes. He said he had tried to “take my own life” by slashing his wrists because he had molested his daughter.
He went on to make full admissions and agreed with gardaí, that as he had abused the girl almost every week, he must have molested her over 100 times.
The man said he had told the girl “sexually explicit” stories and watched a pornographic DVD with her.
He told gardaí that he had asked the girl to touch him but she had refused and he had not forced her.
He admitted that he had warned her if she told her mother about the abuse, he would end up going to jail.
The girl told gardaí that she was first abused by the man when she was in bed sick with chicken pox. He pulled down her trousers and molested her.
She said it continued in a similar manner on a regular basis in both her bedroom and her parents’ room.
Det. Gda Ryan agreed with Kathleen Leader BL, defending, that her client has not sought to go near their home since and has no more contact with his entire family, apart from meeting his mother occasionally for a cup of tea.
Ms Leader told Judge Nolan her client suffers from depression, anxiety, alcoholism and incidents of self harm.
“He is totally alone in the world,” Ms Leader said.
She said there was no evidence that he has since re-offended and that he had confessed to the crime straight away.