Man who abused step-daughter loses appeal

A man jailed for sexually abusing his step-daughter lost an appeal yesterday against conviction on grounds involving the victim’s impact statement read to court following his trial.

Michael Riordan, aged 49, of 25 The Orchard, Blackrock, Cork, had pleaded not guilty at Cork Circuit Criminal Court to 21 counts of sexual assault committed against his step-daughter on dates between September 2007 and November 2012.

He was found guilty by a jury on nine counts, acquitted on the remainder by direction, and was sentenced to two and a half years’ imprisonment by Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin on July 4, 2014.

Riordan moved to appeal his conviction on grounds that matters which emerged in the victim’s impact statement were “at odds” with her evidence and secondly the remaining counts should have been withdrawn from the jury on the same basis that caused the other counts to be withdrawn.

Rejecting Riordan’s appeal, Mr Justice John Edwards said the alleged new facts were in respect of minor details readily distinguished from new facts qualified by case law.

He said the evidence was capable of supporting guilty verdicts, and the court dismissed Riordan’s appeal.

He was returned to prison to serve out the remainder of his sentence.

The victim had waived her right to anonymity in the circuit court so Riordan’s identity could be published, the court heard.

 

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