Victim says serial sexual abuse will 'not hold any power over us ever again'

Following a trial in March 2020, a jury returned guilty verdicts on 30 counts of sexual assault relating to the four victims. File image

One of the victims of a serial sexual abuser has said the man will “not hold any power over us ever again”, a court has heard.

The Central Criminal Court heard that a 58-year-old man sexually assaulted 14 girls in his flat over a period of years in the 1990s and early 2000s.

The Dublin man, who cannot be named to protect the identities of the victims, had pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting four girls at his then home in Dublin on dates beginning in May 1994 and ending in February 2001.

Following a trial in March 2020, a jury returned guilty verdicts on 30 counts of sexual assault relating to the four victims.

The man previously pleaded guilty in 2002 and 2003 to sexually assaulting 10 girls over the same period of time as these offences. He received a sentence of nine years imprisonment with the final two years suspended.

While being interviewed by gardaí in relation to these other offences in the early 2000s, the man denied sexually assaulting three of the four victims in this case.

The man has also been convicted in both Ireland and the UK for burglary offences. He was extradited from the UK to face trial and has been in custody since March 2018.

Paul Murray SC, prosecuting, told the court that while the first victim did not wish to make a victim impact statement, each of the remaining three women had made statements.

In her victim impact statement, which was read before the court by Mr Murray, the second woman said that for many years this affected her badly. She said she rebelled at home and got in trouble with the law.

The second woman said that she felt “dirty, sick and ashamed” of the person she is today for allowing this to happen to her.

“I am not a victim anymore, I am a survivor,” the woman said.

In her victim impact statement, which was read before the court by Mr Murray, the third woman said that she sometimes hated herself for not telling anyone what happened to her at the time.

She said she was “so glad he has been found guilty of his disgusting crimes”. She said she was glad it was all over and done with and that she had got justice.

In her victim impact statement, which she read before the court, the fourth woman said that she turned to drugs at a young age and ended up in a number of abusive relationships.

She said she had suffered sleep paralysis and night terrors and had had to “dip in and out” of counselling since her early twenties. She said she was extremely over-protective of her daughter and does not let anyone else look after her.

She said the man had “robbed us all of our childhood and innocence”. She said he would “not hold any power over us ever again”.

A local garda agreed with Giollaíoda Ó Lideadha SC, defending, that while his client was in the UK he worked at a homeless charity centre. The garda agreed that no charges have been leveled against the man arising from this period.

Mr Ó Lideadha said his client was subject to a very substantial prison sentence relating to previous offences of sexual assault. He said that his client did a course while in custody which led to the man fully recognising that what he did was wrong and resolving to never do it again.

He said asked the judge to impose as lenient a sentence as possible with regard for the previous sentence.

Ms Justice Tara Burns adjourned the matter for finalisation on June 11, next.

Abuser said if he touched and massaged girl's chest, it would grow bigger.

A local garda told Mr Murray that in relation to the first victim, the man was convicted of six offences of sexual assault in the period between May 1994 and May 2000.

The second woman gave evidence during the trial that her father was a cousin of the accused. She said that due to parental difficulties, she and her nine siblings were placed “here, there and everywhere” and she went to live with the accused man.

The man would show her pornographic movies in the flat and would very often be naked. The first offence occurred when the man was in bed and he placed the victim's hand on his penis.

The victim was paranoid about the size of her chest and the man told her that if he touched and massaged her chest, it would grow bigger. She went along with it as she knew no better.

Other assaults included the man rubbing his penis against her backside and making her masturbate his penis. If the victim did not let him touch her, his mood would change and he would punish her for things for which she would not normally be punished.

The garda said that in relation to the second victim, the man was convicted of 17 offences of sexual assault in the period between February 1996 and February 2000.

The second woman gave evidence during the trial that she was the niece of the accused. She said she began to stay in the man's home when she was around nine years old and that she stayed in his home every two weeks.

The man would ask her to come into his bedroom and he would be naked. On occasions he put his hands up the victim's top and down her trousers.

The garda said that in relation to the third victim, the man was convicted of six offences of sexual assault during the year 2000.

The third woman gave evidence during the trial that she was friends with the second woman. She said she went to the flat a lot and that the man would give her cigarettes and money.

The man assaulted by her forcing his hands down her trousers while she struggled and she could not leave as the door was locked. The woman did not tell anyone about what happened as the man told her if she did she would be killed.

The garda said that in relation to the fourth victim, the man was convicted of a single count of sexual assault on an unknown date in the period between February 2000 and February 2001.

The fourth woman gave evidence during the trial that she was assaulted while staying over in the flat with the first woman. She said that they believed the man would not be there that night and she was therefore sleeping in his bed.

She woke up to find the man in the bed with his hand down her bottoms and touching her vagina. She coughed to make him aware that she was alive to what was happening and the man left the room.

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