herald

Tuesday 22 August 2017

Man jailed for five years after abuse of younger sister

Criminal Courts of Justice
Criminal Courts of Justice

A 36-year-olD Cork man who sexually abused his younger sister during their childhood and teens has been given a five-year prison sentence.

The man, who cannot be named at this stage for legal reasons, was convicted by a jury following a trial last July at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork of 23 counts of sexual assault against his sister at homes the family lived in between 1991 and 1997.

He has been in custody since his conviction.

The abuse began when the accused man, who has learning difficulties, was 14 and his sister was 10. It continued until he was 20 and his victim was 16.

Mr Justice Paul Carney declared the man a sex offender and said he had "forfeited the most fruitful source of mercy and mitigation" because he had not pleaded guilty to the offences.

He took into account the "grave nature" of the offence, the impact on the victim, the multiplicity of offences and the age of the victim before he sentenced the man to five years in prison.

consent

The judge suspended the final year having taken into account the man's lack of previous convictions, good employment history and youth at the time, on condition that he stay away from "the victim in perpetuity, save with her consent".

He also ordered that he undergo 18 months post-release supervision.

Det Gda Colman Murphy told Tom Creed SC, prosecuting, that the victim used to play with toys in her brother's bedroom and when she was 10 years old he began to ask her to take her clothes off.

His sister recalled the physical pain of the abuse and how he would come into her room at night.

Det Gda Murphy agreed with Mr Creed that texts disclosed to the defence revealed a "complex" relationship between the accused and his sister.

The now 33-year-old victim said in her victim impact report that her childhood memories were about removing her clothes and being touched in inappropriate areas.

She said she would lie in bed at night praying he would not come into her room.

She said the abuse had occurred in her home, a place where she should have been safe.

Her mother had explained to her about touching, but when she told her what was happening nothing permanently changed.

She said she now washes twice a day because she never feels clean and wears make-up because she feels she looks like her brother without it.

Michael Bowman SC, defending, said the accused man wished to apologise to his sister and had written a letter.

The man apologised to his sister for his "foolish deeds" and wrote that he had taken "the coward's choice" by fighting the case.

hnews@herald.ie

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