Father sentenced for abuse of daughter

A father of five who sexually abused his eldest daughter more than 24 years ago has been sentenced to six years in jail by Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

A father of five who sexually abused his eldest daughter more than 24 years ago has been sentenced to six years in jail by Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Judge Donagh McDonagh suspended the final two years of the sentence and said that he "entertained doubts" as to the "genuineness" of the defendant's remorse.

The 51-year-old Dublin man pleaded guilty to five sample charges of sexual assault on his then seven- to nine-year-old daughter between October 1980 and December 1982.

Judge McDonagh said the man had employed "terror tactics" on his child and had "commanded her silence".

Garda Cliona O'Brien told Ms Caroline Cummings BL, prosecuting, that the woman first contacted gardaí about the sexual abuse in June 2004.

She said her father would force her to kiss him and give him oral sex. He told her that she would have to give oral sex when she was older and he would teach her to do it properly.

He would also sexually abuse her in the sitting room in the family home before he would join her mother in the pub.

He warned her that if she ever told anyone he and her mother would get a divorce and she and her siblings would be put in care and she would never see them again.

Garda O'Brien told Ms Cummings that the woman first made a complaint about the abuse when she was 16 years old but her mother discouraged her from taking it any further.

The man was arrested in September 2004. He had no previous convictions.

Garda O'Brien agreed with Mr Patrick Gageby SC (with Ms Marion Berry BL), defending, that gardaí received a floppy disc with a confession by the father for his daughter. Judge McDonagh said that most of the confession was "self-serving drivel".

The man's second-youngest daughter told Judge McDonagh that the charges before the court did not fit in with the father she knew. "He was a very caring and very involved father. I probably would not be in college if it were not for my dad," she told the court.

Doctor Davina Walsh from the Granada Institute told Mr Gageby the defendant did not fit the criteria of a person who had "natural pedophiliac tendencies" and he was at a low risk of re-offending after he attended at the institute for two years.

She said he married while still an adolescent and was not emotionally matured. He couldn't cope with the pressures of fatherhood and this coupled with financial pressure and the death of a child in the 80s led to him having "a sexualised relationship with his daughter".

Judge McDonagh said he had difficulties with this evidence and questioned why the defendant had gone to the Granada Institute only after his daughter had made a complaint to gardaí. He said the defendant was "no callow youth" when he "well and truly sexualised his child".

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