A Limerick accountant who perpetrated what a judge described as the most vile, well-planned, base sexual exploitation of a girl when she was aged between six and 12, was yesterday jailed for five years.
Owen O’Brien, aged 43, of Eden Terrace, North Circular Rd, pleaded guilty at Limerick Circuit Court to six sample counts of sexually assaulting the girl on dates unknown between Jan 2002 and Mar 2007.
Judge Tom O’Donnell said it was one of the most appalling cases he had seen in his long experience in the courts.
Passing sentence, Judge O’Donnell said: “These offences took place over a sustained period of five years. The type of sexual assault this girl was subjected to was of the most vile nature. The sexual abuse was well-planned, premeditated, and base in the extreme, and carried out for the accused’s sexual pleasure.”
Judge O’Donnell said O’Brien groomed the girl for his sexual gratification in a “cold, cunning, systematic, premeditated and calculated” manner.
“He stole the innocence of youth of this child — something she will never experience again,” Judge O’Donnell said.
O’Brien went to Henry St Garda Station on Jun 28, 2011, where he confessed to sexually abusing the girl.
A relative of the girl, who had learned of what O’Brien had been doing, threatened that she would report him if he did not do so himself.
Garda Gerard Breen said that when specialist interviewers spoke to the victim, conduct of a much grosser nature than what O’Brien admitted to came to light.
Evidence was heard in court how O’Brien would take the girl’s clothes off and simulate sexual intercourse.
The abuse continued up to three times a week.
Such was the effect that the girl changed her appearance to try and overcome it.
As he groomed the girl, O’Brien lavished her with expensive treats.
Judge O’Donnell said graphic evidence had been given of oral contact with the girl’s private parts, and simulated intercourse.
The abuse continued until the girl was 12 when she demanded that O’Brien stop his behaviour and he did so.
Judge O’Donnell said the victim had been deeply affected by the abuse, but had shown remarkable bravery in making a complaint, and resilience in continuing with her education.
While O’Brien did go to the gardaí, Judge O’Donnell said he did so knowing that if he did not, he would be reported.
Evidence on O’Brien’s behalf was given that he had engaged in a Phoenix programme and came from a difficult background where there was a history of violence and domestic abuse.
Judge O’Donnell ordered that O’Brien’s name be placed on the sex offenders’ list and that, when released, he remains under the supervision of the Probation and Welfare Service for three years.
State Prosecutor John O’Sullivan said the victim consented to O’Brien being named, and said that she should not be identified herself.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved