A Dublin man who orally raped and sexually abused his daughter has been jailed for seven years.
Paul Hamilton (55) first abused his daughter when she was eight years old.
The Central Criminal Court heard the abuse came to an end after two years and that the accused man was forced to leave the family home by the victim's mother after she was told by her daughter about the abuse.
The court heard the mother went to a Garda station after the abuse was uncovered in 2002, but was told her child would have to make a complaint. The matter was investigated in 2019 after the now adult victim made a complaint to gardaí.
Hamilton with an address at Knockbrack, Naul, Co Dublin, pleaded guilty to two counts of oral rape and four counts of sexual assault of his daughter at the family home in Skerries, Co Dublin, on unknown dates between October 10th, 1999 and April 1st, 2002. He has no previous convictions.
Eileen O'Leary SC, prosecuting, told the court that the victim wishes to waive her anonymity and wishes for the accused man to be named.
Passing sentence on Tuesday, Mr Justice Michael White sentenced Hamilton to eight years imprisonment, but suspended the final year of the sentence on strict conditions.
In her victim impact statement, which she read before the court, Amanda Hamilton (29) said that throughout her life she felt “immense guilt” over the actions of the accused man and that she is still dealing with that today.
Ms Hamilton said she had to have multiple operations and investigations done with regards to her health in her 20s and a doctor believed stress was leading her to getting sick. She said while travelling to college she had a panic attack, that she felt like she was dying and in a way she hoped she was dying.
She said she has tried to find “even the smallest exoneration or excuse” for her father's actions against her, but said that there is none. She said it is just “a preference” of her father and that he will “always be a burden to society”.
Ms Hamilton said his “preference”, his lack of a conscience and his failure as a father has led to “over 21 years of suffering”.
“I absolutely despise you for that,” she said.
Life in prison
She said that as for him feeling sorry and guilty for what he did, she does not believe it as, if so, why would he have carried on for so long? She said he lied and changed his story many times.
Ms Hamilton said that when she told her mother what her father did to her, her mother instinctively grabbed her and stood between her and the accused. She said her mother has sacrificed everything for her and she comes out “looking nothing less than an angel”.
“You have sentenced me to life in my own hellish prison,” she told her father.
Following the statement being made to the court, Justice White said he wished to pay tribute to Ms Hamilton. He said he hopes she can take benefit from the positive aspects of life and wished her well in the future.
Garda Gemma Macken told Ms O'Leary that she was on patrol in 2019 when she was approached by the injured party and her mother. Ms Hamilton told her that she wished to report her father sexually assaulting her as a child.
Gda Macken said Ms Hamilton gave a statement to gardaí during which she said the first incident occurred in her home when she was aged eight and her mother was out. Her father showed her a magazine depicting naked people performing a sex act.
“This is what daddies and daughters do,” her father told her. He “guilted” her into saying okay to being sexually assaulted, telling her afterwards not to tell her mother and that it had to be their secret.
Her father would say to her that he would take her to bed and tell her a “funny story”, which for him was a code for what he would do. The court heard he was not “forceful”, but he emotionally had control of the victim.
The victim described being assaulted at least eight times, with most incidents happening in her room at night and the abuse going on for about two years, on and off.
The abuse came to an end in 2002 when Ms Hamilton told her mother, who then told Hamilton to leave the family home. Although he no longer lived with them after this disclosure, he had supervised access to his daughter for a number of years.
When interviewed by gardaí after his daughter made a statement in 2019, Hamilton accepted he had orally raped and sexually assaulted his daughter. He did not accept the time frame of the abuse that was given by the victim.
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 https://www.drcc.ie/services/helpline/, or visit Rape Crisis Help.