A man has been given a 12-year sentence for raping and sexually abusing his three step-children.
The 54-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his victims, abused the two girls and one boy after starting a relationship with their mother and moving to Ireland from abroad.
Last month at the Central Criminal Court, Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy imposed a 12-year sentence for abuse of the two youngest children, while Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan imposed another 12 years for abuse of the eldest child. Both sentences will run at the same time.
While imposing the second 12-year term yesterday, Ms Justice Heneghan said she did not consider the abuse of the two other children as an aggravating factor as it related to the same family circumstances and time period.
The man continues to deny the abuse and maintains his innocence, thereby forfeiting the “most fruitful source of mitigation”, Ms Justice Heneghan said.
In relation to the eldest child, he was convicted following a trial at the Central Criminal Court last June of four counts of rape, 10 counts of sexual assault, one offence of oral rape, and two charges of using an object to penetrate her on dates between 2001 and 2005. The girl was aged between 11 and 15 at the time.
In a separate trial, he was convicted of 35 counts of sexual assault and rape of two other step-children. The female victim was aged between seven and 13 while the male was aged between 11 and 17.
The eldest victim said in a victim impact statement she did not love or hate her step-father.
“I don’t care for him in any manner. I have truly freed myself from him,” she said.
“All I ever wanted was a father. All he wanted was to have his disgusting needs met.”
She added that her partner had now shown her “that I am worth so much more”.
At 18 she tried to commit suicide, having previously self-harmed, but said she no longer “bears the burden of my abuse”.
The male victim said the accused made him fell emasculated and worthless. He also attempted to self-harm and said he felt it was his job to protect his sisters from the abuse.
The youngest victim said the man had torn their family apart. She said she still felt she was going to wake up “and be that eight-year-old girl again with no voice”.
A local garda told Imelda Kelly, prosecuting, that the accused started molesting the eldest girl before starting to rape her. He offered her money and threatened that if she said anything it would get her in trouble.
The woman told the jury during the trial that her stepfather also put a carrot in her vagina and on a separate occasion used a vibrator on her.
The abuse followed a similar pattern with his two younger victims before gardaí became involved. Much of the abuse occurred during the day while he was minding the children.
Paddy McGrath, defending, said his client continued to deny the offences. He had lost all contact with his step-family and could expect no visitors in prison.
Counsel added his client suffered from a number of medical ailments, including stress and diabetes.
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