Man who sexually assaulted toddler when he was a teenager is jailed for 10 years

A man who repeatedly sexually assaulted a toddler for over four years has been jailed for ten years.

The man, who cannot be named to protect the victim, began abusing his cousin when she was aged around two and a half. The abuse continued until she was aged five.

He was aged under 18 for the majority of the assaults.

The Dublin man, now aged 52, continues to deny the offending.

Following a trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court last January, a jury convicted him of 56 charges of sexual assault committed between January 1982 and August 1986 at a place in Dublin.

In a victim impact statement, the woman said she has no recollection of a time when she was not terrified. She said her abuser stole her ability to love and feel her home to be a place of refuge.

The court heard she tried to kill herself at the age of 15 and later felt guilty during the trial about “making a fuss”.

The woman said she was stunned to hear the man take to the stand and deny the offending. She said this revealed the absence of any honesty in him.

“Without that, a man is a monster and can do monstrous things,” she told the court.

Detective Garda Dominic McGrath told Diana Stuart BL, prosecuting, that the man has no other criminal convictions.

Paul Greene SC, defending, handed the court in a number of testimonials from family which he said showed his client is not the man he was when he abused the victim.

Counsel said there is evidence that his client has been a loving father and of assistance to his wife who is a depressive.

Judge Patricia Ryan said she took into account, when considering her sentence, the nature of offending, the disparity of ages between the accused and victim, the long period of time over which the offending occurred and effect it has had on the injured party.

Judge Ryan said the mitigating factors in the case were the man's previous good character, his not having come to adverse garda attention since, his excellent work record, his voluntary work in the community and the hardship his being in custody will have on his family.

She said the appropriate global sentence for all of the charges after taking into account the mitigating factors was a sentence of ten years’ imprisonment.

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