A man has been sentenced to 18 years for the repeated rape and sexual assault of two very young girls in Kildare almost 10 years ago.
The 64-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, made the girls smoke cannabis and take head shop drugs and Viagra, used sex toys on them and forced them to perform sex acts on each other.
In 2002, he began sexually assaulting the girls at the age of six and eight.
He progressed to frequently raping the older girl in 2005 when she was aged 10. The following year he began raping her nine-year-old sister.
The man, originally from Scotland, has previous convictions for sexually abusing his own daughters there.
He was placed on the Sex Offender’s Register there, but went missing from Scottish authorities in the late 1990s.
He pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to 11 charges of sexual assault of a child, nine charges of rape and one charge of oral rape on the two sisters on dates between July 2003 and February 2010.
Anne Rowland BL, prosecuting, told the court that the 21 pleas were representative of 264 charges and were acceptable to the Director of Public Prosecutions on the basis of full facts.
The man also pleaded guilty to the sexual assault of two other victims on two occasions in January 2008 and December 2009.
Mr Justice Paul Carney registered the man as a sex offender and imposed a jail sentence of 18 years after he noted that the man had groomed the victims by plying them with alcohol and other substances.
The maximum sentence available for the rape offences is life.
The judge said he had taken into account the inherent gravity of the offence, the period of time over which it extended, the disparity in age between the abuser and his victims and the breach of trust involved.
Mr Justice Carney suspended the last three years of the term after taking into account the man’s guilty plea and co-operation with the gardaí.
He also imposed 18 months post release supervision and ordered that the man stay away from his victims for the rest of his life.
Garda Hud Kelly told Anne Rowland BL, prosecuting, that in 2003 the man began abusing the older girl once a week.
She was aged 10 in 2005 when he began forcing her to perform a sex act on him and raping her on a nightly basis. He continued to rape her until 2010.
On one occasion after the death of his own father, the man raped her in his late father’s bedroom. The house was for sale at the time and prospective buyers were being shown around.
He began giving this girl cigarettes and cannabis when she was 12 years old.
A year later he gave her alcohol, Viagra purchased off the internet and a “cocaine derivative” head shop drug and another drug called “Horny Goat Weed”.
In 2009, around the Christmas time, he raped her while sexually assaulting her sister at the same time.
This girl said she feared she was pregnant a number of times as her abuser never used a condom.
Garda Kelly said the man began abusing the younger girl in 2002 when she was six. By the time she was aged nine he was raping her up to six times a week.
The sisters were aged seven and eight when he forced them to watch pornographic movies on the TV in their mother’s room when she was out of the house. One of the victims said she found this disgusting.
The court heard that he raped the younger girl in the sitting room when she was staying up late doing her homework.
The girls confided to each other about the abuse in December 2009 and finally told their mother in May 2010.
In February, 2010 two other girls, who were friends of the first two victims, had made allegations that the man had sexually assaulted them on two occasions while they were babysitting at his house.
The court heard psychological reports outlining how both sisters are suffering significant psychological symptoms of post traumatic stress and are likely to require therapy throughout their lives.
The reports from clinical psychologist Dr Ann Byrne-Lynch stated they both experienced regular daily flashbacks lasting several minutes and these could be triggered unpredictably by innocuous words in a conversation.
Both sisters had used cannabis regularly to block out the feelings brought on by the abuse.
The report stated both victims have shown good levels of personal resilience.
Damien Colgan SC, defending, said that his client admitted the allegations as soon as they were put to him by gardaí and that his early guilty pleas were a relief to the family.
Mr Colgan said his client told gardaí: “I’m glad she came out with this. I have hurt everyone I love. I’ve hurt a lot of people.
“It’s very hard to live with. I’m sorry for everything that’s happened.”
Gda Kelly accepted that his remorse was genuine. Mr Colgan said his client is a chronic alcoholic who nonetheless accepts that he committed these offences when he was sober as well as drunk.
Ms Rowland told Mr Justice Carney that it was the view of the DPP that these offences lie at the higher end of the highest range.