10-year-old girl’s note detailed alleged sexual assault

Cork Circuit Criminal Court

A 10-year-old girl with writing and speech difficulties handed her mother a note at bedtime in which she suggested she had been the victim of a sexual assault, it was claimed by her mother.

She also testified that her daughter used a teddy bear to demonstrate what allegedly happened.

A middle-aged man related to the girl was put on trial before Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin and a jury at Cork Circuit Criminal Court yesterday.

He pleaded not guilty to four counts of sexually assaulting her on four occasions between April 2011 and September 2014 at his home in Kerry.

The only witness called in the case so far was the complainant’s mother.

Siobhán Lankford, prosecuting, commenced her examination of the witness at the time of the last alleged sexual assault in September.

The child’s mother said she was putting her to bed a few days after an occasion when she had stayed at the defendant’s house.

The girl’s mother said yesterday: “She said to me she had left a letter in the bathroom for me. I just laughed. During that day she had been very distressed and agitated and could not control herself.”

The jury was told that the note said: “The reason why I did not go with [defendant’s name] is that he showed me something. I did not look. He showed me somewhere I did not look or touch but he touched somewhere on me.”

The complainant’s mother said it happened on the previous Saturday night. The witness said yesterday that she went into shock to read this.

“I asked her where he touched her. She put her hand on her breast. I asked her, what did he show you? She could not tell me. She could not find the words,” the girl’s mother said.

She said her daughter also told her that the defendant “had been on top of her and kissed her and was on top of her making noises”.

She showed her mother what she was describing by putting her teddy bear in a straddling position.

The witness said she found her daughter’s notebook where there was one entry stating, “He did not have any clothes on but he did have boxes (sic) on. I kicked him with my heel. He tried to kiss my on my face. He told me to be quiet. He closed curtains. The first time he touched me he put his hands under my top.”

Ciarán O’Loughlin defending, referred to another statement by the complainant where she referred to an earlier complaint by her where she said, “That did not happen. I just said that. I did not think it was bad enough for you to believe me.”

Mr O’Loughlin put it to the child’s mother that all of the things complained of by the girl were things that she (the mother) had advised her to be wary of.

The mother replied, “Yes, thank God.”

Mr O’Loughlin said that one of the rooms where a sexual assault allegedly occurred in 2011 was not built until 2012 and he said that receipts from builders would prove that point.

The trial continues today. The complainant is to give evidence by video link.


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