Mayo man convicted of raping daughter from age 7, does not accept jury's verdict

By Alison O'Riordan

The barrister for a Mayo man who was found guilty of raping and sexually assaulting his daughter has told a court that his client does not accept the jury’s verdict and maintains his innocence.

The 47-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the victim’s identity, was found guilty by a Central Criminal Court jury of three counts of rape, five counts of anal rape and six counts of sexual assault of his daughter in Co Mayo and abroad between 2006 and 2010.

The girl was between seven and eleven years of age at the time. The man has eight previous convictions in Ireland and nine abroad.

The victim was in care when she disclosed to her social workers that her father had “behaved inappropriately” towards her and an investigation commenced, the court heard.

The father, who had a problem with alcohol and was intoxicated when he committed these offences, denied everything when he was arrested by gardaí.

A local garda told Alex Owens SC, prosecuting, that the victim had refused to provide the court with a victim impact statement as she believed this would make her responsible for the length of her father’s sentence and without one the responsibility may be taken away from her.

The garda agreed with counsel that the man raped his daughter in 2006 following a bereavement and he was intoxicated at the time.

The family later moved abroad where the victim was sexually assaulted by her father on a number of occasions by inappropriately touching her.

The man raped his daughter after she complained about how she looked in her school photograph and on another occasion after she attempted to hang herself from a lampshade, the court heard.

The garda said the abuse had a very serious and traumatic effect on the victim which resulted in her making a number of suicide attempts.

Michael P O’Higgins SC, defending, said his client does not accept the jury’s verdict and he maintains his innocence. “I am therefore limited in what I can say by way of mitigation” he added. He said his client intended to appeal his conviction as soon as possible.

Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy remanded him in custody until April 23 when he will be sentenced.

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