independent

Saturday 16 December 2017

Man already serving life for raping and molesting daughters and step-granddaughter gets five more years for abusing son

Judge Barry Hickson.
Judge Barry Hickson.

A WEXFORD man serving life in prison for raping and molesting his daughters and his step-granddaughter has been given a further five-year prison sentence for the indecent assault of his son.

The man who came before Wexford Circuit Criminal Court, and cannot be named to protect the identities of his victims, had pleaded guilty on June 28, 2015, to a number of counts of indecent assault dating back to the 1970s.

A Garda told Prosecuting Counsel, Sinead Gleeson, that the man in his seventies is currently serving two sentences of fifteen years and, before Christmas, was given a life sentence in the Central Criminal court.

He said that the son of the defendant made a complaint to gardai who carried out an investigation. The complainant spoke of incidents of serious sexual abuse going back to when he was three to four years old and the defendant was in his forties.

He recalled incidents taking place while he sat on his father's lap, and while he was in bed. He said his father was also violent towards him.

Defence Counsel, Michael Delaney, said the defendant pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity. He was convicted in the Central Criminal Court in December 2013 in respect of rape and indecent assault involving two of his daughters for which he received a sentence of 15 years with final three years suspended. Most recently, in December 2016, in the Central Criminal court, he pleaded guilty to two counts of rape and four counts of sexual assault of his 9-year-old step-granddaughter between 2006 and 2008, for which he receive the maximum sentence of life in prison.

Mr. Delaney said the defendant is now estranged from his second wife and has no contact with his family.

In a harrowing Victim Impact Statement, the son of the defendant said he could remember as a young boy the first time his father abused him.

'It was a winters night when I was at home, the fire was lighting and it was dark outside. I was alone in the sitting room with him. It was so painful that I remember weeing myself. I remember seeing my wee as the light of the fire reflected on me,' he said.

'I always remember the feeling of not being safe in my home. I remember looking at my father as a young boy and asking myself why would the person that brought me into the world hurt me and beat me like he did. I will always remember the feeling of loss as a child, that I wanted so much a father who would look after me and protect me and my family.

'I remember always trying to protect my mother from my father as he would beat her. I would always keep asking my mother if she was alright every time I was with her.

'From a young age I always remember feling anger and hurt. This had a big affect on me as a young boy and into my early manhood. I have felt angry for a lot of years because of the questionsI would keep asking myself about my father and why he would continue to abuse his child like he did for all of my childhood and into my teens. I remember as a child feeling that I was never good enough. I would always try to get compliments from anyone involved in any sport that I was involved in as I always felt that I had to prove myself.'

The statement continued: 'I remember asking my father after my mother died why he abused me. He told me he did it because I was always bold. This has stuck in my head ever since he said it. He had no problem telling me this. It felt like he was justifying what he had done.

'I have to struggle with all different types of emotions throughout my life as a result of the brutal childhood my father had subjected me to. I have ended up in the mental health ward in Ardkeen Hospital due to taking an overdose. Whenever life throws something hard at me I always revert back to when I was growing up. This can be very hard for me.

'I have had counselling for the last eight to nine years and throughout all of my sessions the one thing that haunts me is the way my father abused me. Even now I am still trying to live with the effects of my childhood, the feeling of shame and mental hurt my father inflicted on me. I guess this will never leave me because when my father started to abuse me way back when I was a young child, he also gave me a life sentence too.

'I do take comfort in the fact that I didn't carry on the brutal and unimaginable hurtful life that my father gave to me. My family will never have to endure any of this so here the legacy dies, for that I am grateful.'

Describing the perpetrator's crimes as very serious offences, Defence Counsel Mr. Delaney said he has an appalling record of abusing members of his family over more than one generation. He said that the man did apologise to his son a number of years ago and that he has asked that this apology be repeated.

Judge Barry Hickson said that the defendant had pleaded guilty to 28 counts in total. He said the maximum sentence for indecent assault is two years and that he would impose a five-year sentence, to run concurrently with the life sentence, breaking it down by imposing the maximum two years on count 1; a consecutive two years on Count 19, and a consecutive one year on Count 26, the sentences to be backdated to June 28 last. He marked the remaining charges taken into consideration.

Ms Gleeson said there is a prohibition order on the naming of the defendant.

Wexford People

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