A Clare man threatened to kill his partner’s nine year-old daughter if she told anyone of his sexual abuse, the Central Criminal Court has heard.
The three-year period of severe abuse was only uncovered when the victim’s younger brother, who was five years-old, told their aunt. The court heard the girl is now “extremely traumatised.”
The twenty-five year old man pleaded guilty to one sample count each of anal rape and sexual assault of the girl between 2009 and 2012 in County Clare. Mr Justice Tony Hunt remanded the man in continuing custody for sentence to next Monday.
The abuse began when the man moved in with the victim’s mother and lasted until the return of the victim’s aunt from overseas. The parties in the case cannot be identified for legal reasons.
A local garda told Anthony Sammon, SC, prosecuting, that the aunt asked the victim and her brother how the man was treating them. The five year-old boy began to tell her about the abuse, upon which the girl became very upset and pleaded with the boy not to say anything.
The abuse was then reported to gardaí.
In an interview carried out by a garda specialist the victim said the man would make her rub his penis and put his penis in her mouth. She said he would put his finger “where I go to the toilet” and on one occasion caused her to bleed.
She also said he performed oral sex on her and anally raped her nine or ten times.
She said the abuse took place in every room of the family home. The abuse
happened when she was between six and nine years old.
In a report read to the court a psychotherapist said it was very sad to see how the abuse has affected the “extremely traumatised” girl, who is now 12 years old.
The report described her as quiet, withdrawn and nervous in therapy sessions and displaying symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder.
In a victim impact statement read to the court the girl described herself as feeling “scared, angry, dirty, sad, terrified, worried, nervous, never happy, shy and guilty”.
She said the man threatened to kill her if she told her family or friends. She said she can’t sleep in the dark any more and “will probably never be happy again”.
Michael Bowman, SC, defending, said the man wanted to make a deep and sincere apology, and that he “simply fails to offer any rational explanation for his wrongdoing”.
Counsel said the man, who has previous convictions for theft and cultivation of cannabis and opium, understands that a long term of imprisonment is inevitable and that “something deep-seated within him requires ongoing treatment.”
By Declan Conlon