Abuse victim: I was cornered in cattle shed

A woman who was sexually abused by her father nearly every day for 10 years said she felt like an animal the day her father cornered her in a shed and tried to have sex with her.

Her 50-year-old father has since been diagnosed a paedophile by a psychiatrist. The Central Criminal Court heard that he began abusing his daughter when she was five years old.

The now 20-year-old first disclosed the abuse to her school chaplain when she was 17.

She read in her victim impact statement that a father was supposed to care for and protect his children, but he “treated me like an object that he could use and control”. She said as a child she felt she was unable to turn to anyone.

Recalling an incident of attempted rape when she was “cornered” in a cattle shed, she said; “I remember thinking he treated the animals better than me. I told him I felt like a chained up animal.”

The 50-year-old man pleaded guilty to two attempted rapes and 10 sexual assaults on dates between 2003 to 2012.

The court heard that the man would often wake the girl up and bring her into his bedroom where he would sexually assault her in the bed he shared with his wife. The girl recalled that on one occasion her baby sister, who would sleep in a cot in their parent’s room, was awake and watching them.

Dara Foynes BL, prosecuting, told Mr Justice Tony Hunt that the 10 counts were representative of 37 counts. She said the girl claimed that he abused her every day and the father admitted to gardaí that it happened at least two or three times a week.

The man made admissions to a social worker in March 2014 and immediately left the family home.

The girl said the fact that her younger sisters still didn’t know why their father left was very upsetting for her and she felt responsible for breaking up the family.

The man told gardaí during interview that he took advantage of the close relationship he had with his daughter. “I had a thing in my mind that I was giving her comfort,” he said.

The man took the stand and addressed his daughter in court saying a “proper apology was well overdue”. He said he understood that a prison sentence was for him to surrender to his past failings and his crimes.

The judge remanded the man in custody until July 11 for sentence.


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