A €500 fine has been imposed on a 73-year-old man who indecently assaulted his teenage daughter over 31 years ago on a big night of the TV series Glenroe — the marriage of Biddy and Miley.
Defence solicitor, Frank Buttimer, submitted in mitigation yesterday at Cork District Court: “It is at the lowest end of the offending scale. It goes back to 1986 and there is nothing before or since.”
Judge Aingil Ní Chondúin did not comment on the case yesterday except to say, “Convict and fine €500, three months to pay.”
Recognisances in the event of an appeal were set at €500 in the accused’s own bond and an independent surety of €500.
The 73-year-old was convicted after almost three hours of evidence last week.
The complainant said she was 16 at the time of the disputed incident and that she remembered the night by reference to the marriage of the Glenroe characters Biddy and Miley.
“My father was sitting in his chair. He was drinking. He had whiskey. I sat down at the base of the chair. Glenroe started to come on. He started rubbing the back of my neck,” she said.
“After five minutes he put his hand under my bra and held my breast. He did not let go. I froze.”
She told her mother and said her mother did not believe her. Her father denied it.
“I knew I was on my own,” she said.
She said her father both denied it and apologised in a very flippant manner.
The 73-year-old testified that he had never been in trouble in his life and said of the allegation of indecently assaulting his daughter when she was aged 14 to 16: “I am horrified actually. Totally shocked. I could not believe it. I never expected it in a million years.”
He said: “I was sitting on the arm chair. [Daughter’s name] was sitting on the floor to my right hand side. I had a couple of drinks. I was dozing in the chair. I heard her say something.
“I did not hear what she said so I leant forward. As I leant forward I draped my right arm around her front to hear what she had said. I leant back in the seat and went back to sleep.”
He said he did not put his hand inside her bra, did not interfere with her clothing and that if he did touch her breast it was clumsy and accidental.
The accused said his marriage ended, and in 2005 his daughter arrived at his front door to blackmail him.
He said she was demanding that he would pay for a new house for her or she would go to a Garda station to complain that he sexually assaulted her if he did not pay. He said she gave him five days to think about it.
“I said, you can go to the guards now, that I wouldn’t give her a penny,” he testified.
The complainant said she was experiencing post-natal depression at that time and she apologised to him soon after the occasion she asked him for money.
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