Woman reveals 'suicide note' to rape trial jury
A jury has been read what was intended to be a suicide note of a 15-year-old girl who claimed today that she was repeatedly sexually abused by her mother’s partner.
The note’s author, now a 26-year-old woman, was giving evidence on the third day of the trial of the 64-year-old Offaly man.
He is also alleged to have abused her older sister and two younger step-sisters.
He has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to 100 charges of sex assault and rape of four girls on dates between May 1989 and December 2006.
The woman told Bernard Condon SC, prosecuting, that she tried to kill herself as young teenager because of the abuse she had suffered at the hands of the accused.
She confirmed that she had written the note and addressed it to her father but said she was unable to read it to the jury.
She said that she took an overdose a month after the letter was written.
Mr Condon then read the letter, which started with the words “Dear Daddy” and ended with the girl’s signature, “died July 25, 2002 RIP”.
The letter said: “Dear Daddy,
“I thought I would drop you a few lines to tell you that all this s**t is really doing my head in and I just can’t cope with it anymore. Ma was not going to tell me who I could hang around with and neither could you.
“It’s alright now because you all got your own way and I don’t need anywhere to live anymore.
“I am going to commit suicide. Please make sure he (the accused) gets locked up because it is his fault you are going to lose me.
“Thanks for all you help Dad, I don’t know what I would have done without you. I know the pigs were up last night, cause I heard them. It looks like they won’t be sending me into care but they will be sending me to the grave. Thank God.
“I am too young to handled this, my whole life has been ruined.
“I really wish I could stay around to look after you Daddy but it would ruin my own life. I hope I did not hurt your feelings. I will miss you and I still love you.”
The woman had earlier told Mr Condon that she was first abused by the man when she was nine years old. She said he pulled her aside, molested her, told her not to tell anyone and ordered her to go out and play.
She said the abuse continued on “a daily basis if he got the chance” and described similar incidents which she said occurred in the family home and outside in a garden shed.
The woman told the jury the abuse continued until 2006 and the man would always tell her she was his favourite.
She said when she was about 12 or 13 years old he started to get her to perform a sex act on him.
She said she told her father and aunt about the abuse when she was 15 years old and social workers were contacted.
The woman told Mr Condon that her father spoke to the gardaí about the abuse but the next day her younger step-sister contacted her and told her she could move back into the family home if she withdrew the allegations.
She said she needed somewhere to live at the time and had nowhere else to go.
The woman said when she returned to the house the man told her he would stop touching her if she withdrew the allegations. She retracted her statement but she said he started molesting her again a few days later.
She said she left the house in 2006 and moved in with her boyfriend. The man called to the house and told her he wanted “to get me for the ride”. She told him to go away.
The woman agreed with John Paul Shortt SC, defending, that a document from the local garda station said that her father had brought in the suicide note and claimed that the accused had been abusing his daughter.
The document said the gardaí then interviewed the then 15-year-old but she denied that anything had ever happened. She told gardaí she had written the suicide note to annoy her father.
The woman told Mr Shortt that the accused had made her withdraw the allegations and made her say this to gardaí.
She denied that her father had “any influence” in writing the suicide note
She said she didn’t know why she had not moved in with her father after the overdose rather than returning to the family home.
The woman said she had no recollection of giving instructions to the hospital that her father was not allowed to see her during her stay there after Mr Shortt read case notes from social workers at the time which stated this.
She said “I don’t know, I can’t remember” giving such orders and said she had no recollection of throwing eggs at her father’s house some months later.
The woman refused to accept that her overdose had been “accidental” rather than suicidal. Counsel said to her that medical reports from that time suggest that it was an accidental overdose.
The trial continues before Mr Justice Barry White and a jury of six men and six women.
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