Man who regularly raped niece and grandniece jailed for seven years

CourtsBy Sunday World
The final three years of the 10-year sentence was suspended
The final three years of the 10-year sentence was suspended

A Carlow man who regularly raped his niece and grandniece has been given a ten year sentence with the final three years suspended.

Michael Moran (78) of Oldtown, Nurney, pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to three sample charges of rape of his grandniece on dates between October 2003 and June 2009 in County Carlow and to seven sample charges of rape of the second victim on dates between January 1983 and March 1989.

Patrick Treacy SC, prosecuting said while the victims did not want to be named in the media, they didn't wish to interfere with Moran being identified.

Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan said Moran's actions had caused great suffering and trauma to the victims. She said the man had preyed upon the innocent girls for his sexual gratification.

She noted he had entered an early guilty plea, expressed remorse, cooperated with gardai and had been of previous good character.

Ms Justice Heneghan imposed a ten year sentence and suspended the final three years on conditions.

A local garda told Mr Treacy that Moran admitted to gardaí that he had sex with both women while they were young girls but claimed each of the victims instigated intercourse.

The older woman, who is now 41 years old, told gardaí that the man raped her on a regular basis, every three or four weeks. She recalled Moran first sexually assaulting her when she was eight years old and outlined specific incidents of rape in the family home.

The woman told gardaí that he threatened “to do the same” to her intellectually disabled sister if she refused to have sex with him. He also told her that no one would believe her if she disclosed the abuse.

The younger victim, now 23 years old, told gardaí Moran gave her money after raping her. The abuse began when she was 11 years old.

She said on one occasion he hit her and he often told her no one would believe her if she told anyone about the abuse.

The older woman stated in her victim impact statement that she wanted Moran to get the same sentence she got. “He took away my youth and innocence and I can't get it back,” she said.

The younger victim said in court that the man “took my childhood away from me and I will never get it back.”

Colman Cody SC, defending said his client wished to offer an apology to both women in respect of all of the suffering he caused them.

He asked Ms Justice Heneghan to take into consideration Moran's lack of previous convictions, his plea of guilty and a psychological report before the court.

Mr Cody said the report suggested his client developed “a distorted view of what was appropriate sexual behaviour” due to both a lack of education and an isolated rural life.

He said Moran also abused alcohol at the time.

The garda read from the victim impact statement of the older woman that Moran made her feel dirty and the only reason she didn't stop him raping her was because she was afraid he would do the same to her sister.

She said she cut her hair short so she would “look less like a girl” but Moran continued to abuse her.

She described herself as a “very sad teenager” who was very “lonely on the inside” because she just wanted to tell someone what was happening.

She left school early but returned later to get her Leaving Certificate. She said in recent times she had found herself crying in the toilets at work because of the abuse.

The woman also described having “a fake smile” while she was hurt inside and said the man took her childhood.

The 23-year-old woman read from her victim impact statement that Moran “took advantage” of her when she was only a child and said she was too afraid to tell anyone.

She said she had been on anti-depressants and was too afraid to leave her home, spending most of her day in her bedroom.

By Sonya McLean