By Aoife Nic Ardghail
A Dublin man has been jailed for seven and a half years for sexually abusing his then teenage nephew over a decade ago.
The 44-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect his victim's identity, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to four counts of sexually assaulting a child and four counts of buggery of a male person under the age of 17, all on dates between January 2004 and January 2006.
He has no previous convictions.
Garda Dermot English told the court that the abuse started out as oral sex when the nephew was 15 years old and progressed to sexual intercourse when the boy turned 16.
Today, Judge Petria McDonnell acknowledged that the man was at low risk of re-offending, but described the offending as “horrendous” and at the upper end of the scale.
She imposed a nine-year sentence with the final 18 months suspended, directing that the man avail of any rehabilitation and treatment facilities while in custody.
At the sentence hearing, Garda English told Fiona McGowan BL, prosecuting, that the teenager would frequently visit his uncle's house, especially during school holidays.
The man would abuse his nephew regularly in his bedroom.
Garda English told Ms McGowan that the man used to record himself sexually abusing his nephew on his mobile phone.
Referring to a victim impact report in court, Ms McGowan told Judge McDonnell that the nephew had been suicidal since the abuse.
The victim had experienced “several meltdowns” because of the stress of the case, had felt dirty from the abuse, had had nightmares and suffered depression.
Garda English agreed with Ronan Munro SC, defending, that his client admitted to the charges against him in his garda interviews.
He further agreed the man had claimed that he had suffered from past sexual abuse.
Mr Munro submitted to Judge McDonnell that his client had health problems, alcohol issues and had disliked primary school because of what allegedly happened to him.
He submitted that his client had turned to using alcohol to “block out the realisation of what he's done”. Counsel said his client wished to apologise to his victim and hoped the nephew would be able to put the “horrible memories” behind him.
Judge McDonnell accepted that the man's guilty plea had spared his victim the difficult experience of going through a trial.