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Dublin dad guilty of raping his two young daughters

THE Dublin father found guilty of 82 sexual offences against his children today faced jury deliberations on a further 14 counts against him.

The 73-year-old man was found guilty yesterday of raping his two daughters and sexually abusing his son.

The man had pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting and raping two daughters between the ages of five and 11 and sexually assaulting his son from the age of three to six between 1997 and 2002.

The jury of eight men and four women reached unanimous decisions on 82 counts after deliberating for 11 hours at the end of a seven-week trial.



Convicted

Today they returned to the Central Criminal Court for a third day of deliberations on the remaining counts.

He was convicted of 80 sexual offences against his children while the jury returned two verdicts of not guilty of sexual assault against one of his daughters.

A further 14 counts from the original 113 charges remain to be decided.

Mr Justice George Birmingham ordered not guilty verdicts on 17 of the counts following legal argument.

During the trial, the eldest girl, now aged 19, told prosecuting lawyer Isobel Kennedy that she was sexually abused from the age of six in the sitting room, where she slept on a couch.

She said she was taken into care in 2000 but ran away and was abused by her father when he picked her up in a car.

She said said she was raped by her father in the house where the family stayed when they left Dublin for a time in 2001.

The court also heard how she had been abused on the DART and in the toilets of a McDonald's restaurant.

The second daughter, now 18, told how she had been abused by her father "in the sitting room, his room, my room or the car".

She said she would be abused by her father while she was in the bath or in a van owned by her father.



Evidence

The son, now 17, gave evidence that his father had sexually abused him in his bedroom and in the bathroom from the age of three until he was six, when he was taken into care and placed with a foster family.

His foster mother told the court how when he arrived at her house he was undernourished, not toilet-trained and unable to eat solid food or recognise common foods.

The accused man gave evidence in his own defence, saying the family home "could not have been happier" and denied physically or sexually abusing his children.

He said he pleaded not guilty because the offences never happened.

csheehy@herald.ie