Cork man who sexually abused brother and sister in foster care is jailed

Cork Man Who Sexually Abused Brother And Sister In Foster Care Is Jailed
The man also pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation of both victims. Photo: PA
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Fiona Ferguson

A Cork man who sexually abused a brother and sister in foster care has been jailed for nine years.

The siblings were abused after the accused, an older foster child, took them “under his wing” when they were taken into care in the same foster home as him.


The accused was aged between 14 and 17 at the time of the offending, while his victims were aged between nine and 13 years old.

The abuse ended when he turned 18 and left the home.

The now 37-year-old accused man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his victims, pleaded guilty to multiple counts of oral and anal rape and sexual assault of the boy; as well as rape and oral rape of his sister on dates between 2002 and 2004.

He also pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation of both victims. He has 21 previous convictions.


Mr Justice Paul McDermott said the age difference between the accused and his victims had been exploited and the trust they had in him was “cruelly betrayed.”

Mr Justice McDermott said the accused clearly knew what he was doing was wrong and went to great length to orchestrate his offending. He noted each victim had suffered deeply.

He said the accused was watching pornography at a young age, as well as using alcohol and cannabis.

The judge said if the accused had offended as an adult the headline sentence would be 20 to 21 years imprisonment, but as he was a child at the time he set a headline of 13 years imprisonment.


Judge McDermott reduced that to ten years imprisonment, taking into account mitigation. In order to encourage rehabilitation he suspended the final year for three years on strict conditions.

He also ordered five years post-release supervision for the protection of the public and the victims.

An investigator told John Fitzgerald SC, prosecuting, that the brother and sister met the accused after they were taken into care in the same home and he took them “under his wing.”

The garda said there was a period of him being “nice” and trust built up before the abuse began.


After the sexual abuse began, the siblings said they were physically afraid of the accused. The abuse ended when the accused man turned 18 and moved out of the home.

The accused was arrested in 2020 after a complaint was made to gardaí, and he suggested they might have been abused by someone else.

Guilty pleas were entered a few weeks prior to a trial date.

Victim impact statements were prepared by the siblings for the judge. They did not wish for them to be read in open court.


Ronan Munro SC, defending, said his client deeply regrets and apologises for what he did.

He said it has been hard for the accused to face up to what he did, but he hopes the siblings get the therapy they need.

He said the last offence was 20 years ago, there has been no re-offending and the accused now presents as a socially isolated man. He is assessed as at medium risk of reoffending.

Mr Munro said the accused man hopes the injured parties can move on, he accepts what they say and offers himself up for punishment. He said the accused will abide by the injured parties wishes and will work to address his deficits.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can call the national 24-hour Rape Crisis Helpline at 1800 77 8888, access text service and webchat options at or visit Rape Crisis Help. 

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