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three year sentence Man jailed for sexual assault of two children aged between six and seven years old

Judge Martin Nolan said the accused man had been a position of “loco parentis” so what he had done was a huge breach of trust


Photo: Getty Images/Stock Photo

Photo: Getty Images/Stock Photo

Photo: Getty Images/Stock Photo

A young woman revealed she had been sexually assaulted as a child by a relative’s partner after the man video called her while masturbating years later, a court has heard.

The 66-year-old accused man was today jailed for three years for the sexual assault of the young woman and her sister as children. The girl had taken a screen shot of his video call and told her parents.

The man who cannot be named to protect the identity of his victims, was convicted by a jury of sexual assault of the eldest girl at his then home on a date between 2004 and 2006, of the sexual assault of her younger sister on a date between 2007 and 2009 and exposing himself in August 2018.

The accused man had pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to the offences. He told the girls’ parents at the time he had mistakenly phoned her and did not make an issue during the trial as to whether it was him making the call.

The children were aged between six and seven years old at the time of the sexual assaults.

Judge Martin Nolan said the accused man had been a position of “loco parentis” so what he had done was a huge breach of trust. He took into account the young age of the children at the time.

He noted in mitigation the lack of prior convictions and the man’s co-operation with the trial in relation to the technical admission he made which shortened the trial.

The judge noted the victim impact reports outlining the difficulties the girls have faced, the huge rupture in their lives and difficulties for their family.

Judge Nolan placed the sexual assaults at the middle to lower end of the range but said the accused man certainly deserved a custodial sentence. He imposed a three-year sentence.

The prosecuting garda told Sinead McMullen BL, prosecuting, said the elder girl was at home on an evening in 2018 when she got a video call via Facebook Messenger from the accused man’s profile.

She said she answered and could see him masturbating on his bed. She said she could not see his face but recognised the bedroom. She hung up but the phone rang again and he was still masturbating.

The girl took a screen shot and told her parents. Her parents went to the accused man’s home and put it to him what was alleged. The man, who was naked with his laptop on the bed, told them it was a mistaken phone call.

The gardai were alerted and the two sisters also made complaints in relation to one sexual assault each on them by the accused man when they were six or seven years old.

The elder girl said the man had touched her private and chest area on one occasion while she was in bed and her sister said the accused man had touched her tummy and private parts while she was on the sofa in the man's house.

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The elder girl said the offences had a profound effect on her and that she had been very secretive, keeping everything bottled up but when the man video called her it brought it all back and she had to tell her family. She said in her eyes, the man had taken her innocence away.

The younger girl said she had to get counselling to deal with anxiety and panic attacks. She said the offence had a traumatising effect on her life, that she had loved him and couldn’t believe he would do this to them.

Garnet Orange SC, defending, said he did not wish to be dismissive of the evidence but asked the court to take into account that these were not sample charges, they were distinctive events and submitted they were not at the highest level.

He said the accused man had no intention of living where the offence had occurred again and that his relationship with their relative had ended.

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