'Every day, I am going to feel the pain,' says victim as guilt-ridden sex offender is jailed

A judge has jailed a guilt-ridden sex offender for three-and-a-half years for the sexual abuse of a young girl over a four-year period.

At Ennis Circuit Court, Judge Gerald Keys imposed a six-year jail term suspending the final two-and-a-half years on the native of Barefield, Ennis, Co Clare, Johnny Galvin (aged 48) for the sexual abuse of the female who was aged 12 to 16 at the time.

Judge Keys told ex-factory production supervisor, Mr Galvin of Ballinagaddy, Ennistymon, Co Clare, that he had abused the complainant “for your own sexual gratification” and “you abused your position of trust and groomed her”.

Judge Keys said that other aggravating factors in the case included “the circumstances in which offences occurred; the age gap; the effect the offences have had on the complainant and the serious breach of trust”.

In the case, Mr Galvin first confessed to the sexual abuse when he showed up at Ennis Garda Station in early October 2017 before any complaint was made against him.

Mr Galvin also wrote a letter of apology to the complainant stating that he hopes she gets justice for what he did.

In the letter read out at Ennis Circuit Court, he told the woman: “I cannot undo the hurt you have suffered as a result of my abuse of you.”

Judge Keys said that Mr Galvin “has done everything to minimise the distress on the complainant and he fully appreciates the devastating effect his abuse has had on the woman”.

Judge Keys said that Mr Galvin, in his letter of apology, commented on the complainant’s courage “and hoped that she can now rebuild her life and that he is now willing to pay the price to society for his actions”.

Judge Keys said that Mr Galvin has no previous convictions, co-operated with Gardaí, has a long work history, showed genuine remorse, made admissions and entered an early guilty plea.

Judge Keys stated that Mr Galvin had apologised in writing “and the risk of re-offending appears on its face to be low”.

Judge Keys said that Mr Galvin had worked at Daktronics, formerly Data Display in Ennistymon for 19 years and progressed to be a supervisor who was highly regarded by his employer.

The judge said that Mr Galvin has lost his good name and is now a registered sex offender.

When arraigned on the charges in October 2018, Mr Galvin cried as he repeated the word ‘guilty’ 23 times in response to the counts of sex assault from September 1, 2006, to June 30, 2010.

Mr Galvin was then remanded on bail pending sentence but voluntarily surrendered his bail later that month to go into custody and commence his prison term.

Counsel for Mr Galvin, Michael Collins SC said: “This is a very sad case and has devastated a number of families and a number of lives.”

In her victim impact statement, the woman - now aged 24 - said her anger has been out of control because of the abuse stating that she has broken her wrist three times, including one time punching a wall.

The woman said that the abuse has resulted in excessive drinking and that she has suffered from breakdowns and panic attacks.

She said: “His actions have not only hurt me for years - they have devastated my family as well.”

She later added: “Everyday, I am going to feel like the girl who let a man who she loved and trusted take advantage of her.

"Every day, I am going to feel the pain, embarrassment and confusion as to why he did it and why I didn’t stop it when I had the chance."

Judge Keys backdated the sentence to last October when Mr Galvin first entered prison.

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