A MAN who raped and sexually abused a girl for almost a decade of her childhood has been sentenced to 15 years.
Gardai interviewed Michael Smith (53) about the abuse in 2004 after a search uncovered a video he had made of him raping her when she was 11. However he was released without charge and travelled to the UK where he committed further abuse against another teenager girl he had groomed over social media.
Smith was jailed in the UK in 2008 for this and possession of nearly 20,000 images of child pornography. He was extradited back to Ireland on his release last year and has been in custody since.
His Irish victim, Michelle Smith (29), waived her right to anonymity at the Central Criminal Court so her abuser could be identified.
Smith previously of Maplewood Way, Tallaght, Dublin pleaded guilty to nine counts of rape, two counts of oral rape, one count of possession of child pornography and one count of assault causing harm of Ms Smith at addresses in Rathmines, Tallaght and Cabra on dates between 1994 and 2004.
The victim wrongly believed that Smith was her father during the abuse which began when she was eight years old and Smith was in a relationship with her mother. He would make her sleep in his bed and rape her several times a week whiles sometimes filming her.
Yesterday Mr Justice Carroll Moran said the aggravating factors in the case are as bad as he's ever encountered and noted that the Probation Service believe he continues to represent a high risk to the community.
Mr Justice Moran imposed a 15 year sentence but suspended the final three years in light of Smith's early guilty plea when he was brought back to Ireland last year.
The judge noted that Smith had not "absconded" to the UK as he had not been charged at the time. However he said that Smith did leave knowing that he might have to face arrest here.