Roscommon man jailed for abuse of sister

A Roscommon man who sexually abused his sister has been given a five year sentence by Mr Justice Paul Carney at the Central Criminal Court today.

A Roscommon man who sexually abused his sister has been given a five year sentence by Mr Justice Paul Carney at the Central Criminal Court today.

The 38-year-old man who is serving an eight year sentence for sexually abusing his brother grew up terrified of his father who savagely beat and sexually abused him for several years so that as a child he felt "unsupported and isolated and unable to form friendships".

He pleaded guilty to 10 sample charges of incest and indecent assault. There were 68 counts on the indictment alleging offences on dates from 1981-1990. The offending began when he was 12 years old and his sister was aged nine years. He cannot be named for legal reasons.

A psychotherapist told Mr Justice Carney that the man expressed deep remorse on every occasion she met him, having told her on his first visit: "I am hurt because I hurt my brother and sister. I am hurt because my father hurt me. I didn't know it was wrong and I will regret it all until the day I die."

She agreed with Mr Hugh Hartnett SC (with Mr Shane Costelloe BL), defending, that the then Western Health Board was aware of the offences since 1990.

He had spent the next 15 years trying to forget all that happened to him and what he had done "but others wouldn't let him".

Shortly after she began working with him, the man spent four hours from 4.30 am one morning writing out his full story and later told her it was the first time anybody listened to him.

The witness and an earlier psychiatric expert told Mr Justice Carney that the man required long-term psychotherapy. The court was told he was already benefiting from such treatment in custody.

Garda Pat Regan told prosecuting counsel, Mr John O'Kelly SC (with Ms Delia Flynn BL) that the man's sister gave details of how he would get into her bed to rape and sexually abuse her on a regular basis. Sometimes she would get him to stop and return to his own bed.

Gda Regan agreed with Mr Hartnett that the man was haunted by what he had done to his siblings and found it difficult to talk directly about it but would reply to questions put to him. He had been facing this matter for 15 years and his guilty plea had been helpful to his sister.

Mr Hartnett pleaded that this was "a most tragic case" and was "unusual and exceptional" as it had been in the public arena since 1990.

His client had been brutally sexualised by his father's savagery towards him and it was a case in which the court could decide on a smaller sentence than might normally be imposed. He added that the eight-year sentence his client was serving was under appeal.

Mr Justice Carney ordered that the man he be registered as a sex offender and that he undergo three years post-release supervision. He imposed a five year prison term on the incest charges and four years to run concurrent on the indecent assault counts.

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