A Wexford man who raped a teenage girl for two years until she became pregnant at the age of 13 has been jailed for 11 years.
The 76-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the anonymity of his victims, also sexually molested the girl’s three younger sisters.
The Central Criminal Court heard that three of the children had developmental problems including learning disabilities. Their mother knew the man and she would take him to the family home on weekends from his isolated rural home.
The man began abusing the 11-year-old girl in 2004. In 2006 her teacher noticed she was putting on weight and became suspicious that she was pregnant.
The abuse of all four girls emerged during the subsequent inquiries. The first victim told gardaí that the man would rape her in the family home and outside in a field.
She said she hated him and he was not nice and he was cross with her. “It was disgusting and sore. He told me not to tell anybody or he'd hit me,” the court heard she told gardaí.
During one incident the girl's brother observed the man raping the victim. She also described frequent incidents of molestation.
The man was charged with 18 counts each of rape, oral rape sexual assault. The Director of Public Prosecutions accepted a plea of guilty to one sample count of rape on the basis of the full facts of the allegations being heard.
The man also pleaded guilty to sample counts of sexual assault of the sisters on various dates between 2001 and 2006.
Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy said that the house in which these offences occurred was for those four children a “house of horrors.” He said that the fact that one of the girls had become pregnant by the accused man at the age of 13 years old was a “shocking feature” of the case.
He also noted that three of the four children were of limited intellectual capacity, making them exceptionally vulnerable. He said this was a “grave aggravating factor.”
Mr Justice McCarthy imposed concurrent sentences totalling eleven years. He said he had to take into account the man's age as well as his guilty plea and admissions.
In 2005 the man molested one girl when she was aged just nine. She later told gardaí that this abuse made her feel sad.
Another sister was aged six when the man molested her. He was aged 63 at the time. She told gardaí: “This happened when I was six because I know my numbers”.
The fourth sister was aged between seven and eleven when the man sexually assaulted her. She told gardaí she didn't know what sex was.
John Kelly SC, defending, said his client had an intellectual disability and a low IQ. Counsel said he has lost all his friends as a result of these offences.
“He has become a social pariah. He lives a very isolated and lonely life,” Mr Kelly said.