Extra jail time for pervert who wore studded belt, ring and chain on his penis while he abused his former partner's daughters

Central Criminal Court
Central Criminal Court

A Dublin man jailed for five years for sexually abusing six of his former partner's daughters has been given an extra four years in jail and has lost the suspended part of his sentence because he's unwilling to engage in a sex offenders programme.

The 54-year-old man, who cannot be identified to protect the victims' identities, had pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to 60 counts of sexual assault between 1994 and 2005.

He was found guilty by a jury on all counts and sentenced to seven years imprisonment with the final two suspended by Judge Desmond Hogan on May 31 2013.

The Court of Appeal dismissed the man's appeal against conviction in April finding that although the trial judge had erred while giving a corroboration warning to the jury, the error rebounded in his favour.

Following his failed appeal the Director of Public Prosecutions successfully sought a review of his sentence on grounds that it was unduly lenient and a new sentence of nine years imprisonment was imposed on him today.

However, the three-judge Court of Appeal saw no benefit in retaining the suspended part of his sentence designed to encourage rehabilitation because the man maintains his innocence and is unwilling to participate in a sex offenders programme.

Giving background to the case last month, Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan said the six sisters alleged the man had sexually abused them when he lived in their family home as their mother's partner.

According to their mothers evidence the sexual relationship between herself and the man had ended after the first couple of years together, in or around 1996, the judgment stated.

Each sister gave evidence that the abuse had occurred a couple of times a week and over a prolonged number of years.

Each described the abuse as frequent, sometimes daily, touching of the breasts and vagina in addition to forced masturbation, simulated and oral sex in respect of most complainants.

Five of the sisters gave evidence that upon their return from school each day, the man would knock on the floor of his bedroom demanding a cup of coffee and the abuse would commence when one of the sisters went up to his room with a cup of coffee.

Four of the sisters stated that he wore a studded belt, ring and an attached chain on his penis.

The same number gave evidence that he forced them to watch pornographic films in his company.

Four sisters gave evidence that the man gave them yoghurts, sweets or money to them after the abuse occurred.

The first complainant gave evidence that she and her other sister had withdrawn previous complaints made in 2003 under threat of being thrown out of the family home.

“They had nowhere else to go,” the judgment stated.

In finding that his five year jail term was unduly lenient today, Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan cited legal jurisprudence which states that when a woman invites a man into her home and he assumes the role of step-father, a sexual assault in that role represents a breach of trust to a very high degree.

Mr Justice Sheehan said the man in the present case breached that trust in a fundamental way by abusing six daughters.

He caused them such suffering which has had a devastating effect on the family and on the victims, Mr Justice Sheehan said.

Imposing a new sentence on him, Mr Justice Sheehan said the Court of Appeal identified 10 years as the appropriate starting point for offences which carried a maximum of life imprisonment.

Mr Justice Sheehan said the court would not consider suspending part of the sentence on the basis that he undergo a sex offenders program because the court was told he “maintains his innocence”.

Given that he is unwilling to participate in such a programme, Mr Justice Sheehan said “the court sees no benefit in continuing” with suspended portions of his sentence that were designed to encourage rehabilitation.

However, in view of his work record, lack of previous convictions and positive prison reports, Mr Justice Sheehan, who sat with President of the Court of Appeal Mr Justice Seán Ryan and Mr Justice John Edwards, the court mitigated his ten year sentence to nine years imprisonment on each count which carried a maximum of life imprisonment.

The DPP had not sought consecutive sentences to be imposed in this case, Mr Justice Sheehan said.