A rapist sexually abused his daughters while they were visiting him in prison.
The children were barely in their teens when the abuse took place at Castlerea Prison, a court heard.
Their now 52-year-old father had previously carried out acts of abuse on all three of his daughters when they were as young as four, and often beat them with his leather trousers belt, Tullamore Circuit Court heard.
The man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his daughters, was twice convicted of rape and fled the jurisdiction before being tracked down to the UK where he was arrested earlier this year.
Described as “an enormous risk” to the public by Judge Tony Hunt, he has been in custody awaiting trial since last April.
He pleaded guilty to a series of charges of indecently assaulting his three daughters in the 1980s and 1990s. The offences took place in the family home, in his car and at Castlerea Prison.
He also admitted charges of sexually assaulting a boy aged between four and five years of age between 2000 and 2002.
Garda Martina Nolan told the court that matters came to light in 2002 when the oldest daughter made allegations against her father. All three victims went on to make statements outlining the abuse.
The man was arrested and charged, but absconded while on bail and was only extradited from Britain a number of months ago. He pleaded guilty to charges in July and to further charges yesterday.
The oldest daughter told gardaí of abuse she suffered at the hands of her father in 1988 and 1989, when she was aged four or five, and that she was afraid her father would hit her if she did not comply.
The second daughter and her younger sister separately told of visiting their father in Castlerea Prison while he was serving a sentence for rape in 1999.
She said her mother had brought her and her sisters to visit their father there and they were all sitting around a table. She was sitting next to him and he put his hands around her and felt her backside, before moving them around to feel her private parts.
The youngest sister said in her statement that her father wanted her to sit on his knee. When she did so, he put his hands up her top and felt her breasts.
Garda Nolan told the court that the accused man was a farm labourer and worked at odd jobs. He had twice been convicted of raping females, one of whom was a special needs person. He served sentences of five and 10 years for the offences in the 1980s and 1990s.
He was freed in December 2000, but within months he was sexually abusing a boy aged four to five, who trusted him and regarded him as a step-uncle. The court heard that the offences happened in a forest and at the accused man’s apartment.
Defence counsel Padraig Hogan said he had been instructed to express his client’s remorse and to express his apologies. The accused man had been subjected to similar abuse himself, which Mr Hogan agreed did not justify what he had done.
Judge Hunt noted that he had not even waited to be released from custody before reoffending and committing acts of indecency.
The judge will pass sentence later this month.
‘You are a sick paedo. I hope you rot in hell’
“I wouldn’t spit on you if you were on fire,” were the words of an abused young woman to her father yesterday.
Harrowing victim impact statements were read to Tullamore Circuit Court yesterday on behalf of the three women whose lives have been deeply affected by the childhood abuse they suffered.
The oldest daughter spoke of being very scared at what was being done to her and hoping that her late mother would take her away from what her father was doing to her.
“I thought it was normal what was happening. But there was nothing normal about a little girl being locked into a bedroom to please her dad,” she said.
Describing him as a monster, she told of being beaten by him, using his belt.
“I had a shit childhood and all because of you,” her statement said as her father sat motionless with his back turned away from her in court.
She had been abused physically and mentally and told her father: “You are a predator — the beatings we got from you.”
She recalled her father watching her and her sisters in the bath, and later of not having enough clothes to cover themselves properly. She used to hide from him in the woods and the only time she and her sisters were safe was when he was in prison.
She added: “Why, why did you do this to me? You are a sick and perverted paedo. I hope you rot in hell.”
Her sister said in her statement that her sense of security and trust was now gone. Her life had been turned upside down and she had felt that she did not deserve to be loved. While her father was in prison, the family used to say that he was away on army duty. But in school they called him a jailbird.
“I wish I had a normal life with a normal father… He beat us something bad, with a big leather belt,” she said. “I only wish this pain would go away.”
The youngest daughter said she had prayed to her late mother for guidance in making her statement.
“I hate my surname and use my mother’s maiden name whenever I can,” she said. She has since tried to take a drug overdose.
“I was emotionally drained all my life… I’m angry all the time. I’m angry at him,” she said.
“I’m terrified Daddy will come back. I’m always locking doors and windows and I have a baseball bat under my bed.”
The fourth victim who was aged four to five when sexually assaulted by the man, told the court the abuse had ruined his life. He said he turned to drink and drugs, even though he knew it wasn’t the way to deal with it.
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