Prison sentence for “monster” child abuser dadPadraig Conlon 26 May 2023
By Jessica Magee
A Dublin man has been sentenced to three and a half years in prison for indecently assaulting his daughter when she was aged between four and seven years old.
The man had denied two counts of indecent assault at the family home in 1987 but was found guilty by a jury at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court earlier this year.
He cannot be named in order to protect the identity of his daughter, who is now aged in her 40s.
In a victim impact which she read aloud to the court yesterday, the woman described her father as a “monster” who had stolen her childhood.
“You were my Daddy; you were meant to protect me from monsters.
Instead, you turned out to be my monster,” she read.
“You should have been reading me storybooks and tucking me safely into bed.
“I was not only your little girl but your little girl who was very sick.
“You used my illness to your advantage. You have broken me in so many ways,” the statement continued.
The woman described the sexual assaults as a “tsunami”, which left a wave of destruction that continues to haunt her every day, causing her to feel “dirty, worthless and inadequate”.
“You gave me a life sentence,” she told her father but added that she had realised how strong and resilient she was and that she could now move forward with her life.
“The sin is yours; the crime is yours, and the shame is yours,” the woman said.
Judge Martin Nolan said it had been a “huge breach of trust” and that, as a father, the accused was supposed to protect his daughter, not damage his daughter.
The judge said he could not imagine a more frightening thing for a child than having to endure what the woman had endured.
“He behaved deplorably,” said Judge Nolan.
The sentence was backdated to May 8, and the judge listed mitigating factors in the case, including his age, his long work history, the low likelihood of him re-offending and the letters of support from his siblings.
The accused has two previous minor convictions for public order and traffic offences dating back to 2003 and 1991.
A prosecuting garda told Ger Small SC, prosecuting, that the woman said both offences took place before she made her First Communion.
She told gardaí that she woke up in her bedroom to her father on top of her, thrusting against her.
A second incident took place on the landing when the girl was very sick, having suffered from serious lung problems all her life.
She woman said she didn’t think her father would come near her because she was sick, but he followed her up the stairs and put her on the ground before indecently assaulting her.
The court heard that on arrest, the accused told gardaí that it was “all lies” and that his ex-wife had persuaded their daughter to make a false allegation.
Giollaiosa O Lidheadha SC, defending, said his client continues to maintain his innocence and has no other allegations of sexual misconduct against him.
Counsel said the man has been found guilty and that this verdict is a huge weight of which he continues to suffer the effects.
The man had serious alcohol problems at the time of the offending, the court heard, and now suffers ill-health and cerebral damage from chronic alcohol use.
Several letters were presented to the court describing the man as a kind and caring person to his siblings.