Grandfather jailed for 13-years for sex abuse of his daughter and granddaughters
A Kerry grandfather described as a “wolf in sheep's clothing” has been jailed for 13 years for the sexual abuse of his daughter and two of his granddaughters.
At the Central Criminal Court the father of the youngest victim, who was the first child to report the abuse, urged parents to be vigilant if they had the “slightest inkling that a child was a little off.”
He thanked the child's teacher who had just finished the “Stay Safe” program with the class when his daughter revealed her own abuse. Her grandfather, who raped and sexually assaulted the child while babysitting her, had told her it was “their little secret.”
The accused subsequently admitted abusing all three victims. He has no previous convictions and is now wholly estranged from his family.
The 67-year-old who cannot be named to protect the identity of his victims, pleaded guilty to rape and sexual assault of the younger granddaughter, who first reported his abuse, on dates between 2011 and 2014.
He also pleaded guilty to sexual assault of an older granddaughter on dates between 2011 and 2012 and sexual assault of his own daughter during her childhood on dates between 1995 and 1999.
Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy noted the man had repeated his sexual wrongdoing in two generations of the family. He imposed consecutive sentences totalling 13 years.
The man's daughter, who was abused between the ages of ten and 14, said she had believed she was the only victim. Her abuse came to an end when she shouted at her father to leave her alone.
She described the guilt she felt years later when she discovered he had abused her nieces as well. “How could you have done this to us?” she asked her father during her victim impact statement.
The younger granddaughter was aged between six and nine at the time of the abuse, while her cousin was aged between nine and ten years old. The man abused the girls at various locations including the family home and while babysitting.
Defence counsel, Anthony Sammon SC, said the accused man was “terribly upset” at what he had done and at destroying what was once a close family. He said he was struggling to come to terms with the make-up of his own nature that brought this about.
He handed in a psychologist's report and a bundle of testimonials from “people who spoke well of him.” He asked the court to take into account the man's remorse, admissions and co-operation with gardaí.
A local garda told Paul Greene SC, prosecuting, that the disclosure of the abuse was first made by the younger grandchild to her teacher and reporting procedures were set in motion.
The accused man spoke to gardaí and admitted sexual abuse of his granddaughters. He admitted using a condom while raping his younger granddaughter when babysitting.
The two grandchildren were spoken to by specialist interviewers and gave details of the abuse.
Gardaí also took a statement from the accused's adult daughter. She said that her father first abused her when her mother was away. She had gone into her parent's room and asked to sleep in the bed with her father.
As she got older it developed into touching her breasts in the course of giving her money for sweets.
On one occasion he grinded up against her so she could feel his erection and on another he put money for sweets between her breasts and pulled her towards him.
On the last occasion when she was 13 years old she “lost her cool” and told her father it should never happen again. She was very upset and made reference to being “touched down there.”
The same complaint was made by the child to her mother but did not lead to anything.
The accused was interviewed by gardaí in 2015 and accepted lifting his older grandchild up to touch her private parts. He could not explain why he did it and said he was not sexually aroused.
He said he “prayed for guidance” to stop himself from behaving that way.
He also admitted the rape and sexual abuse of his younger granddaughter while babysitting her. He had said to the child it was to be “their little secret.”
He also recalled the incident at the end of abuse of his own daughter when she shouted at him that she wanted to be left alone.
The garda accepted during cross examination by Mr Sammon that the accused man had made several expressions of remorse. He accepted the man was now a “pariah in his own home.”
The father of the youngest victim, who made the initial disclosures, gave a victim impact statement on her behalf. He said for as long as his daughter could remember she had been subject to sexual abuse at the hands of her grandfather.
He praised the nine year old girl's “unbelievable courage” in coming forward to report the abuse to her teacher after they completed the Stay Safe program in school.
“What happen to her should never happen to any child on this earth,” her father said, “how frightened and confused she must have been.”
“Evil had entered her home,” he said, “a wolf in sheep's clothing.”
He urged parents to be vigilant if they had the “slightest inkling that a child was a little off.”
He said he and his wife had felt disbelief that this could happen to their own flesh and blood. He said they look back at things they felt they missed and felt they could never trust anyone with their child again.
He recalled that whenever they had plans to go out his father would ask “who is looking after the children” and was always on hand to babysit. He described the revelations as if “someone detonated an atom bomb in our lives.”
His sister, the accused's first victim, gave her own victim impact statement. She said her life had been “blighted” by the sexual abuse. She had believed she was the only victim.
She said the abuse had made her feel different and she had turned to drink and drugs. Her father had told her she was “a disgrace to the family.”
“How could you have done this to us?” she asked her father. She said he had “preyed” on them.
“It breaks my heart and soul apart when I think what you were doing to the children.” She said she felt disbelief, anger and shame and struggled with the guilt of him abusing her nieces.