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Man who molested his nieces described his behaviour as harmless

Man who molested his nieces described his behaviour as harmless

A man who admitted sexually molesting his young nieces described his behaviour as harmless, the Central Criminal Court has heard.

One of the victims told the court that she went from “playing with dolls to planning her death” after the abuse began.

The Dublin man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the victims, pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting one girl when she was aged between nine and 12 years old between 2005 and 2008.

After a trial at the Central Criminal Court a jury convicted him of two counts of raping this victim and of sexually assaulting her older sister.

He was acquitted of two other counts of raping the younger girl. The man, now aged 68, had denied these charges.

Garda Maria Moran told Alex Owens SC, prosecuting, that the abuse of the younger girl began when she visited him wearing her First Communion dress and he molested her.

Soon after this he raped this child in a bedroom in her family home. The man, who is a alcoholic, would give money to the children's parents so they could go out drinking.

This would give him the opportunity to “inflict sexual assaults” on the victims, Mr Owens said.

The court heard he would threaten the girls that they would be taken away if they told anyone about the abuse.

In victim impact statements the elder sibling said when she remembers the mental state in childhood she recalls “a cold dark room” where someone is “screaming out for help”.

“I went from playing with dolls to planning my death,” she said. She said because she was on suicide watch as a child she was unable to protect her sister from her uncle.

She said couldn't stop blaming herself for what he did to her sister. She described having to put furniture up against the door of her bedroom to stop her uncle getting in to abuse her.

“A man who is a family member was supposed to keep us safe,” she said. She called her uncle a paedophile and child molester.

“We will never forget this predator,” she said.

The younger victim told the court that her uncle had taken her childhood away from her.

Michael Bowman SC, defending, said his client lacked some degree of insight into the effects of his actions. He denied the rape offences but admitted the molestation and described them as harmless.

The court heard he suffered abuse himself in an industrial school and told gardaí that he knew that “two wrongs do not make a right” and said he was sad about what he had done.

Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan remanded him on continuing bail for sentence on June 30th next.