Man, 70, who watched abuse of child avoids jail

A man who admitted the sexual exploitation of a child as young as 10 by watching her being abused and raped has avoided serving a prison sentence.

The 70-year-old from the Midlands had told gardaí that he got sexual pleasure from watching the child being abused and eventually raped by another man over a four-year period.

He had pleaded guilty to four counts of sexual exploitation of the child between 2005 and 2009 by watching the victim being abused at his own house by the rapist.

None of those involved in the case can be identified for legal reasons.

Longford Circuit Court heard the man declined an offer by the abuser to have sex with the girl on condition he could watch what was being done to her. He had also engaged in a sexual relationship with the abuser.

The other man was convicted and jailed earlier this year for abusing the girl and other members of her family. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

In court yesterday, Judge Tony Hunt said an offence of this kind would almost always automatically attract a custodial sentence, but there were “highly unusual features” in the case.

Judge Hunt described the abuser as a brute.

He had been described as “a living danger” by the accused man, a widower who cannot read or write. He lives alone and Judge Hunt concluded he has a very profound intellectual disability. “I believe he was dominated by X [the abuser]… the aspect of dominion is established and I am satisfied that I can have regard to this in passing sentence.”

He imposed concurrent six-year terms in respect of each of the four charges and suspended them.


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