A 64 year old man who admitted sexually abusing his daughter between the ages of seven and thirteen, was sentenced to five years at Dundalk Circuit Court last Friday.
The defendant – who cannot be named to protect the victim’s identity, pleaded guilty to eight counts of indecent and sexual assault on dates unknown, at the family home in County Louth between July 1989 and July 1996.
The court heard the victim was 27 when she made a statement of complaint to the gardai, against her father.
The abuse initially took the form of inappropriate touching from outside her clothes, but from the age of 13 on it was under her clothing.
The victim told gardai her father told her that her family would beat her up or would not believe her if she told them of the abuse.
He also told her that this was something that happened between all fathers and their favourite daughters.
The accused initially denied the allegations when they were first put to him but he later admitted the abuse.
The injured party in a victim impact statement read to the court said she had made two suicide attempts when she was 14 and in 2012.
She said she has been attending counselling and still carries a sense of shame from the years of abuse she suffered at the hands of her father but she said “I am doing this for myself – to move on with my life”.
The court heard the 64 year old had no previous convictions and has been assessed as being at low risk of reoffending.
The Defence barrister said his client – whose IQ is in the borderline intellectual disability range, needs prompting to take his medication and becomes disorientated and confused for simple tasks like collecting his pension or attending his doctor.
Judge Michael O’Shea said it was serial and systematic abuse of the victim who he said was a mere child added the accused had robbed his daughter of her innocence and of her childhood and instead of being her protector had become a predator.