A man who lured two young girls away from a children’s birthday party and told them he would cut their parent’s throats before repeatedly raping them has been jailed for life.
The Galway man, aged 30, lured the 6 and 9-year-old girls from a park where they were playing and repeatedly forced them both to have oral and anal sex with him.
During the 20-minute ordeal, he told them: “Do what I tell you or I will cut your parent’s throat and then cut yours.”
The girls escaped through a window in the ground floor flat. They ran back to their parents who had noticed the girl’s missing from the party and were out looking for them.
The man pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to three counts of the rape, anal rape and oral rape of a 9-year-old, and two counts of oral and anal rape of the 6-year-old girl, at an address in Co Westmeath on September 28, 2013.
Sentencing him to life on each count, Mr Justice Paul Carney said he found it too upsetting to recite the facts of the case.
“A feature of this case was to observe the faces of the hard-boiled press corps having difficulty listening to the facts emerging.”
He said it was too serious a case for any discount in sentence to come the man’s co-operation with gardaí after his arrest or from his early plea of guilty. After sentence was passed, the man asked to apologise to the victims.
Inspector Aidan Minnock told Patrick McGrath, prosecuting, that the man told the girls that he had a six-year-old sister in his flat who was to shy to come out and play.
The girls were playing on a green close to a house in which their families were attending another child’s birthday party at around 4pm.
The two girls told specialist child interviewers that they were playing on a tree and hadn’t eaten any cake yet.
They noticed the man looking at them and one girl said later that she thought he was planning his attack.
He approached them and asked if they wanted to meet his six-year-old sister in his flat. He told them: “She is a bit shy now, come on, come on.”
One girl told gardaí: “It’s like as if we were lured in”.
Once inside, he trapped them and took their clothes and his own off. He told them: “Bitch, take them off or I will cut your parents’ throat open and then cut yours.”
When the younger girl began to cry, he told her to shut up and slapped her face. He told her again if you open your mouth, he would cut her mum and dad’s throat.
She told gardaí that this made her feel very sad because she didn’t want him to cut mum and dad’s throat. He then raped the older girl a number of times on a mattress on the floor. He next raped the younger victim before finally raping the older girl again.
At one stage he asked the 6-year-old, while raping her, if she could feel it. She told gardaí it was very sore.
After he was finished with them, he let the children put their clothes back on but not their shoes. He told them to lie down on the floor for 20 minutes and he left the room.
The older girl opened a window and the pair climbed through. She told the younger girl that they would be in the flat forever if they didn’t escape now.
Both girls were taken to hospital where they had to get injections for AIDS, Hepatitis C and other STDs. The father of the 6-year-old said having to make this decision to give her this treatment and “poison” his daughter was one of the hardest decision of his life.
The attacker was identified by one of the girls shortly after the attack and detained by relatives of the victims. He was arrested and initially denied the attacks.
On the fifth garda interview, he admitted everything and told gardaí that he had been drinking cider and vodka since 7am and had taken Valium tablets. He said that a local priest had given him €10 that morning for food but he had used it to buy cider.