A MAN who was jailed for 13 years for raping his daughter and sexually assaulting two of his granddaughters, has received an additional four years in prison at a court hearing in Limerick for sexually assaulting a third granddaughter.
The man, who cannot be named in order to protect the identity of his victims, was found guilty on two counts of sexual assaulting the girl. The abuse occurred when the girl was seven years old and in between the sexual assaults on the other two grandchildren.
Judge Pat Meghan said the man was guilty of a “serious breach of trust at a time” in the girl’s life when she would have “expected to be loved and protected by her grandfather, and yet, he committed these offences against her”.
The sexual assaults have had a profound impact on the girl, who is now in her mid teens.
“She starved herself; she was suicidal; self-harm; insomnia; anxiety and depression, which led to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder,” the judge said.
The man pleaded not guilty to the two charges, and he continues to protest his innocence, the court heard.
The man preyed on his granddaughter at his home when his wife was out on errands, and the girl’s mother was at work.
The victim made a statement to Gardaí when she was 14, telling them she “didn’t know whether to cry or scream” during the abuse.
She told Gardaí the defendant took off her pants and underwear and rubbed his fingers on her private parts as they played “hide and seek”.
The defendant threatened the victim that “bad things” would happen to her mother and grandmother if she told them about the abuse.
She said she had “really cared” for her grandfather, and they “did everything together” before he began abusing her.
She denied a suggestion by the man’s barrister, Anthony Sammon, that she had been encouraged by others to make false allegations against the man.
The man shook his head and sighed in court several times as he watched and listened to a video recording of his granddaughter making her Garda statement.
Following his arrest, the man told Gardaí: “It didn’t happen, that’s the Gospel truth. This is fabricated by someone.”
Mr Sammon told the court he was “not offering anything in mitigation as the man wishes to declare he does not accept the findings of the jury.”
“I’m not in a position to forward any excuse for the offending of which he is convicted, and which he denies,” added Mr Sammon.
In 2015 the man was charged with 37 counts of rape and sexual assault of other members of his family.
The State accepted his guilty plea to 12 sample counts, which included six counts of sexual assault against one of his granddaughters from when she was six years old; three counts of rape of his daughter when she was aged between 9 and 14 years; and three counts of sexual assault of another granddaughter from when she was nine years old.
Prosecuting counsel Tom Rice said the Court of Criminal Appeal had upheld the 13 year sentence imposed on him in the Central Criminal Court in July 2016 for the rape of his daughter and sexual assault of two of his grandchildren.
The four-year sentence is to run consecutively to the 13-year sentence.
The court heard the victims are being supported by the man’s wife and family who have cut all ties with him.