Father accused of sexually assaulting daughter: 'I wouldn't hurt a hair on her head'

The trial is in Croke Park where criminal trials are being run to facilitate social distancing of jurors during the Covid-19 pandemic
Father accused of sexually assaulting daughter: 'I wouldn't hurt a hair on her head'

The trial is proceeding “in camera”, meaning it is closed to members of the public and neither of the parties can be identified at this stage.

A man on trial for alleged sexual assaults of his daughter told gardaí that he loved his daughter and wouldn't hurt a hair on her head.

The 64-year-old man has pleaded not guilty to oral rape and sexual assault of the complainant on various occasions between 2000 and 2007 when she was aged between four and eleven. He has also denied two charges of child neglect by forcing her to drink alcohol and to watch pornography.

The trial is in Croke Park where criminal trials are being run to facilitate social distancing of jurors during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The trial is proceeding “in camera”, meaning it is closed to members of the public and neither of the parties can be identified at this stage.

The complainant, who is now aged in her 20s, has testified that she spent most of her childhood in foster care but her father had access to visits to her. She said during these visits he was often drunk and that he would force her to watch pornography while he masturbated.

She said he would also sexually molest her and forced her to perform oral sex on him.

On the second day of the trial Garnet Orange SC, prosecuting, led evidence to the jury of the man's interviews with investigating gardaí.

The man denied that he had ever sexually assaulted his daughter and told gardaí that he loved her as a father and daughter.

“I wouldn't hurt a hair on her head, I love her so much,” he said.

“I changed her, I wiped her bottom, I've done nothing. I love her, I still do, even though what's being stated. How could I not love her?” he said.

The defendant confirmed to gardaí that he is circumcised, a fact which the complainant had told gardaí that he told her this during one of the incidents of sexual assault.

“If she had never seen your penis, how would she be able to say you were circumcised?,” gardaí asked the accused.

He replied “how many men are circumcised, the good Lord was circumcised”.

The trial continues before Justice David Keane.

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