Pensioner who paid granddaughters for sex jailed for five years

A 75-year-old Donegal grandfather who paid his three granddaughters "significant sums of money" to have sex with him on a regular basis has been jailed for five years by Mr Justice Paul Carney.

A 75-year-old Donegal grandfather who paid his three granddaughters "significant sums of money" to have sex with him on a regular basis has been jailed for five years by Mr Justice Paul Carney.

Patrick Murray (aged 75) told the then young girls that sexual intercourse "was good for his health". He was using viagra during the years he had sex with the victims.

Murray, of Mín a' Chladaigh, Mín Larach pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to three sample charges of raping each of the girls at his home between 1993 and 1997.

The victims, who were aged from nine to 16 years old at the time, agreed that Murray be named in media reports.

Mr Justice Carney registered Murray as a sex offender and said his crimes against his granddaughters could "scarcely be more serious".

"As the grandfather he persuaded them that it was normal and beneficial to him that they should make themselves available to him for sexual intercourse," he said.

He noted that although Murray and his grandchildren came from very deprived circumstances, he had never been employed but regularly paid them £40 and £50, and on one occasion £60, to have sex with him.

Mr Justice Carney took into account that his guilty plea had been of huge benefit to his victims and that he had never come to the attention of gardaí. He was a man of seriously bad health and it was noted that he could not walk to the seat where an accused would normally sit in court.

He said that normally this crime would merit a sentence of not less than 12 years but taking into account Murray's circumstances he sentenced him to five years in prison. He added because of his age he did not think it was necessary to make an order for post-release supervision.

Detective Garda John Gallagher told Ms Pauline Walley SC (Mr Richard Lyons BL) prosecuting, that one of the sisters felt she had given her grandfather license to rape her because when she was 12 years old he gave her the information she was looking for on the facts of life.

Murray told her that sex was good for his health and because her grandmother wouldn't let him near her she had to have sex with him or he would get sick.

Each of the girls told gardaí that their grandfather persuaded them that it was "normal" to have sex with him and it was not until they got older that they realised it was wrong.

One victim told her mother of the abuse after her grandfather started to criticise her boyfriends. She went into his room and took out some viagra tablets to prove he had been raping her.

The oldest of the sisters told Mr Justice Carney that her grandfather's actions had affected each of the girls mentally and physically. They found it very difficult to trust people and some of them had been unable to complete their education. "We haven't had a normal way of life," she said.

Murray initially denied the allegations to gardaí and showed them a medical certificate which stated that he had a prostrate operation in the 1990s that rendered him impotent. Gardaí later found the viagra prescriptions.

Det garda Gallagher agreed with Mr Alexander Owens SC, defending, that Murray's guilty plea on the date of the trial was a "great relief" to both sides, but particularly the victims who would not have to give evidence in court. He accepted that Murray had a prostrate condition for a number of years and had been very ill and frail since 2004.

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