A man who raped and abused his young daughter has been jailed for ten years.
The 41-year-old Dublin man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the victim, was convicted after a trial at the Central Criminal Court last February of multiple counts of sexual assault and rape of his daughter on various dates between 2009 and 2015.
The victim was ten years old when the abuse began and the attacks only ended after she married in 2015, shortly before her 18th birthday.
During the two-week trial the man's lawyers put it to the victim that she fabricated the allegations in order to explain to her husband why she wasn't a virgin after their marriage. Patrick Gageby SC put it to the woman, now in her early 20s, that she was afraid her husband “would send her back”.
The woman denied this suggestion and testified that she was telling the truth about her father molesting her.
The court heard that shortly after the offending came to light there was a serious attack on her abuser and that a relative of the victim is facing charges in relation to this.
The man, with an address in north Dublin, denied the allegations.
Passing sentence today, Mr Justice Tony Hunt said that the offending involved repetitive abuse where the accused took advantage of opportunities and engineered others in order to attack the child.
He said this behaviour represented a serious breach of trust.
He suspended the final year of an eleven year prison term on condition that the man keep the peace and obey the instructions of the Probation Service for a year after his release. He also ordered that the man have no contact whatsoever with the victim.
Maddie Grant BL, prosecuting, told the court that the victim wished to waive her anonymity so that her abuser could be named. Justice Hunt ordered a stay on this for legal reasons but said the matter could be brought back to the court.
In her victim impact statement, which was read out before the court, the woman said her childhood was stolen from her.
The woman said that from the first time her father molested her, all she remembers was waking up and every day wondering why he was doing this to her. She said the only memories she had were of what he put her through.
“The one man who was supposed to keep me safe was hurting me,” she said. The woman said she never felt safe in her home while he was there.
A local garda told Shane Costelloe SC, prosecuting, that prior to the victim attending secondary school, the man began to molest her by touching her privates on numerous occasions.
The garda said that the initial abuse took place in the home of the woman. The man was no longer living at the address at the time of the offences but would often sleep in the house.
The man was convicted of raping his daughter on five occasions. On one of these occasions, the man collected his daughter who had been out shopping and rather than bring her home, he instead took her to a B&B where he raped her.
There was independent corroboration evidence from the owner of the B&B of the defendant staying for a short while and leaving without paying for the room or staying the night. The B&B owner was able to provide details of the guest's car registration to investigating gardaí.
The abuse came to an end after the woman's marriage to her husband.
Mr Gageby said that apart from some road traffic matters his client has lived “a blameless life”. He said his client has been a good support to his current partner and a good father to their children.
Mr Gageby said that during the trial his client “defended his corner vigorously” and was disappointed at the verdict. He asked the court to give his client credit for being a hardworking man and a good father to his children.
He has 18 previous convictions, the majority of which are for road traffic offences. Last February a jury at the Central Criminal Court found him guilty of 16 counts and acquitted him on five.