'I've a monster ruining my life' - Man jailed for sexually abusing young cousin most weekends for seven years

A father of one who first began sexually abusing his four-year-old cousin when he was nine years old has been sentenced to five years with the final three suspended.

Nicole Moran (aged 22) has waived her right to anonymity, in order that Karl Walsh (aged 27) can be named.

Walsh of Buttercup Way, Darndale, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to five sample charges of sexually abusing Ms Moran on dates between January and December 2006 when he was between 14 and 15 years old. He has no previous convictions.

Elva Duffy BL, prosecuting told Judge Martin Nolan that it was the State's case that Walsh molested Ms Moran every weekend she visited his home, which the victim estimates was most weekends. The abuse continued from the time she was four to 11 years old.

Judge Nolan said the “prolonged nature” of the abuse was an aggravating factor, stating that the sample charges were probably representative of 50 or 60 incidents in one year.

“Based on the State's evidence that is a conservative estimate,” he added.

He took into account two reports before the court which concluded that Walsh had low cognitive ability but said he was satisfied that as a 15-year-old boy he knew what he was doing was wrong.

Karl Walsh. Pic: Collins.

Judge Nolan said that on the basis, Walsh deserved a custodial sentence, “he should have stopped” before he added that Ms Moran “had suffered grievously”.

In her victim impact statement, Ms Moran said Walsh robbed her of her childhood. She said she now should be focusing on her “beautiful daughter” but “instead I've a monster ruining my life”.

She described the abuse as “acts of pure evil” which she said had torn the family apart.

She said she suffered years of sexual abuse but never told anyone until Walsh's sister had a baby girl and she feared for her safety.

Ms Moran spoke of how she suffered hair and weight loss and was vomiting frequently. She had difficulties sleeping and needed her mother with her to comfort her.

She said she continues to have nightmares and has twice attempted suicide. She is on anti-depressants but they have altered her life. She dropped out of courses she had started because she had to pass by Walsh's home. She feels she cannot continue to live in the area.

“I have done nothing wrong,” Ms Moran continued before she added that it had been “a never-ending nightmare”. She concluded her statement by thanking her parents and her brother for their continued support.

Garda Aine Watkins told Ms Duffy that Ms Moran first made a complaint to gardaí in February 2015 indicating that she had been abused from the age of four to 11 years old.

She said Walsh was nine years old when he first began molesting her.

Ms Moran told gardaí she would have been close to her cousins and her mother would let her stay with them most weekends.

She told gardaí that from a very young age Walsh made her do “stuff” to him and he touched her.

Ms Moran described being hugged and kissed and being made touch him. She said when she was younger she didn't realise it was wrong.

She told him she had a boyfriend to try and make him stop but he didn't. She never told anyone of the abuse and said it came to an end before she started secondary school because she stopped going over.

Gda Watkins agreed that Ms Moran later made an additional statement in which she recalled Walsh trying to have sex with her when she was nine or 10 years old. It hurt, he stopped and she left the room.

Walsh was interviewed in March 2015 and fully co-operated with the garda investigation although he said he didn't remember trying to have sex with her. He said he was sorry for what had happened.

Gda Watkins agreed with Patrick Gageby SC, defending that Walsh answered all questions and readily admitted nearly everything that was put to him.

She accepted that Walsh was the father of a small child but doesn't live with her mother.

A psychological report before the court concluded that Walsh had low cognitive ability and very little sexual education as a child. It described him as having “inconsistent adult supervision” as a younger boy but that he accepted his wrongdoing.

Mr Gageby said the report concluded that his client was a “reclusive type of person” who was assessed at being at a low risk of re-offending.

Nicole Moran speaking to reporters outside court today. Pic: Collins

After the sentencing today, Ms Moran spoke to reporters outside court and told them she was delighted with the sentence as she thought Walsh would get a suspended sentence.

“I am delighted now that I can live my life and be the best mother I can to my child and that we can walk around freely now without seeing him in the estate for at least two years,” Ms Moran said.

“I am just delighted that everybody was here for me and I couldn't thank everybody enough.”

Speaking of the effect the abuse had on her life Ms Moran said; “I got really sick. I would be getting sick every day. I would lose my hair. I ended up in hospital from getting sick cause I was getting sick blood and I wouldn't leave my house.”

It's just evil that one family member could do that to you. I don't know how they could do that to someone, you're meant to love your family.

Ms Moran said she would encourage other people who had suffered similarly to come forward.

“Through the time it was hard. It is hard but at the outcome, it's worth it. It's all worth it, especially when something like this happens.”

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