Mother put girl into father's bed, jury hears in abuse case

The mother of a Dublin teenager who alleges she was sexually abused by her father for over ten years has told of putting her daughter into her husband's bed on New Year's Day 2006 because she was drunk.

The woman told prosecuting counsel, Mr Paul Coffey SC (with Mr Michael Bowman BL), she was afraid the girl would fall out of her bunk bed as a result of being intoxicated following the family celebration. Which ended at about 5.00 am on New Year's Day. She said she slept in her daughter's bed.

The complainant's mother said her husband had been giving their daughter drinks during the family party and said it was "OK" because the complainant was in her own home.

She said she was "shocked" when her daughter told her in April 2006 she had been sexually abused by the accused for over 10 years and had tried to think back over that time for anything that was suspicious.

She told Mr Coffey she recalled one occasion when the complainant was about eight years old and witness found her husband in her bed with his hand on the child's stomach.

The woman's sister, who had given evidence earlier, was asked to leave the court after defence counsel, Mr Diarmaid McGuinness SC, claimed the witness was looking down to her sister "for affirmation and confirmation" of her evidence in reply to Mr Coffey.

Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy suggested to the woman's sister that it might avoid any misunderstanding if she remained outside the courtroom until the witness concluded her evidence.

The 39-year-old man has pleaded not guilty to 36 charges of sexually assaulting and three charges of raping the teenager at their Dublin home on dates from May 1996 to January 2006. It was day-four of the trial at the Central Criminal Court.

The teenager's mother said the accused became "very agitated" when told in 2005 that their daughter had a boyfriend who was older than her.

She said he told her (witness) a few days later that he was "really annoyed" with the complainant for going with a man older than her and had been unable to sleep over the weekend thinking about it.

The teenager's mother said the accused "grounded" the complainant and wouldn't give her money and asked her (witness) to join with him in "giving out" to their daughter.

"He said that if she didn't stop going out with him she could move out or he would move out," she said.

She agreed with Mr McGuinness (with Ms Anne Marie Lawlor BL), that she had only told gardaí about the time she found the accused in bed with their then eight-year-old daughter in her third statement and wasn't concerned about that at the time.

The complainant's aunt told Mr Coffey that the teenager first revealed her allegations to her after asking her to meet her in a church grounds near her home in April 2006.

She brought the complainant to her home and then called her mother who spoke to her with no one else present. She heard crying coming from the room.

She agreed with Mr McGuinness that the teenager told her that her father had taken the phone numbers of all her friends and had banned one girl from coming to their home.

The hearing continues before Mr Justice McCarthy and a jury of five women and seven men.

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