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Locked up Man who sexually abused his younger adopted sister as a child jailed for six years

He should have been my friend, my hero, my protector,’ says victim, who was 10 when abuse started in Dublin family home

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A man who was aged 13 when he began a six-year period of sexually abusing his younger adopted sister has been jailed for six years.

In an attempt to justify the abuse, Colm Doyle (60) told his sister that it was not wrong because they were not biological siblings. He also claimed to her that a Catholic priest had told him to practice sex on his sister.

He began molesting the girl in their family home in Dublin when she was around 10 years old or younger. For the next six years he repeatedly molested her and went on to rape her.

Doyle, of Heather Drive, Marley Wood, Rathfarnham, pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to around 28 counts of indecent assault and rape of the girl at two separate Rathfarnham addresses on dates between 1974 and 1979 inclusive.

The counts are sample counts from an indictment of 103 charges. Doyle has no previous convictions.

At a sentence hearing on Monday, Derek Cooney BL, prosecuting, told the court that the victim Doreen Stamp wished to waive her anonymity.

Passing sentence, Justice Tony Hunt said he fully accepts Ms Stamp's description that the offending has had a huge impact on her life, including being ostracised by certain family members since coming forward about the abuse.

Mr Justice Hunt said the case was aggravated by the offending taking place over a protracted period of years and becoming graver over time, the young age of the victim, the effects of the crimes on the victim and that Doyle was an older sibling who was entrusted with her supervision.

The judge said a psychological report before the court stated that Doyle has suffered memory loss regarding the offending and noted an understanding on his part of the effect of the abuse on the victim. He noted that Doyle has been assessed as being at a low risk of reoffending.

Mr Justice Hunt set a headline sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment. He said the defendant was entitled to a 33pc reduction due to his youth at the time of the offending and a further 40pc reduction due to his having pleaded guilty.

Mr Justice Hunt sentenced Doyle to six years imprisonment.

At a previous sentencing hearing, Mr Cooney told the court that the siblings both suffered from extreme violence at the hands of their adoptive mother who suffered from bipolar syndrome which went unmedicated.

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Reading her own victim impact statement in court, Ms Stamp said that Doyle should have been there to protect her from the physical, mental and verbal violence of her mother.

“He should have been there as my friend, my hero, my protector” but instead, she said, he used her for his own gratification and to satisfy his sexual curiosity.

“I was a thing, I was an object. He took what he wanted,” she said. She said her strongest memory of the abuse was her brother holding her hands above her head as he molested and raped her.

He would also force her to read out sexually explicit passages from books.

Ms Stamp said she was a survivor of child rape, but that those six years were an “unspeakable hell” for her and the damage caused by the abuse will “never end til the day I die”.

She said that her father and siblings had not stood by her since she came forward about the abuse. She said they seemed to view her speaking out about the abuse as a worse crime than the abuse.

Mr Justice Hunt noted that given the defendant had “put his hands up” and expressed remorse, “perhaps it's time for others to take their cue from that”.

Ms Stamp said that as a child, she could not tell anyone in house about the abuse because of the atmosphere of fear and strictness. After her mother died, she began to process the abuse and went to counselling.

She wrote to her brother, who replied by text that he had blocked everything out and “it was a huge shock to him”. He told her he was very sorry for what he did and asked her to give him “one last Christmas” with his wife and son before going to gardaí.

In a letter handed into the court, Doyle said he deeply regretted his actions and does not understand why he did what he did.

“The guilt I feel is unbearable at times. I should have been there for her. I will live with that guilt and remorse for the rest of my life,” he stated.

Roisin Lacey SC, defending, said both her client and the complainant suffered horrific domestic violence which was rooted in their mother's mental health issues.

Ms Lacey said that the abuse ended when her client turned 18 and met his current wife. She said he had worked all his life as a tradesman.

She said that a key feature of a lengthy psychological report was her client's lack of memory around certain matters in his childhood. The report noted a number of incidents of violence at the hands of his mother, including one where she stabbed him with a kitchen knife.

Counsel asked the court to consider as mitigation her client's early guilty pleas, his youth at the time of offending, his leading of a “blameless life” since the offending, his remorse and victim empathy and the fact that he is assessed at being at a low risk of reoffending.

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