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22 May 2022

Dundalk court: Suspended sentence for indecently assaulting a six year old girl

Dundalk court: Suspended sentence for indecently assaulting a six year old girl

Dundalk courthouse

A father of six who admitted indecently assaulting a six year old girl when he was a teenager, has been given a two year suspended sentence at Dundalk Circuit Court.

The 59 year old, who can’t be named to protect the victim’s identity, pleaded guilty to committing the offence on a date unknown between March 1978 and October 1979 at the victim’s home in County Louth.

The injured party, who returned from abroad to make her complaint,  told gardai she remembered the offending occurring between a relative’s birthday and the visit of Pope John Paul II.

The defendant was a neighbour of her family and she recalled being heart broken when her parents went out leaving her and a younger sister with him.

She heard footsteps on the stairs and a creak on the landing, and saw the defendant standing in the doorway of the bedroom she shared with her sister.

He told her to get out of the bed and although she told him she didn’t want to, he asked her again and told her to lie down on the landing where he molested her.

The woman, who is now in her late 40s, in her victim impact statement said he had taken away her innocent for his own sexual gratification and power and her childhood had ended too soon and she had decided to leave her town and country so she could feel free. 

She added she has flash-backs every day and became a paranoid and protective mother, when she had children.

The Defence barrister said his client had no recollection of what was alleged but confirmed they had been neighbours, he did babysit on a number of occasions and accepted it was unlikely the victim would invent the story.

Judge Patrick Quinn said the father of six in the intervening years had not come to Garda attention and seems to have lived an exemplary life.

He noted he acknowledged his deep regret for what occurred. 

The judge imposed a two year sentence which he suspended in its entirety on the defendant entering a bond to be of good behaviour during that period. 

A number of conditions were attached including that he remains under the supervision of the Probation Service and attends a sex offenders treatment programme.

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