The Central Criminal Court in Dublin.
The victim of a child rapist has told a court how a Mayo man subjected him to 12 years of sexual and mental torture, while the accused’s daughter, who he also raped, has described how her father had ruined her life.
The man, still a Mayo resident, pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to 20 counts of oral and anal rape of the boy between August 1997 and and April 2008. He also pleaded guilty to eleven counts of raping his daughter. These attacks began in mid-2007 and continued regularly for two years.
The man cannot be named to protect the identity of the victims. The court heard that rumours in the local rural community have resulted in his complete ostracism and he appeared in court without any support.
After hearing the facts in the case Mr Justice Tony Hunt adjourned sentencing to December to allow time for the defence to obtain a medical report.
The court heard that the first victim had a fractured family home life. The accused, a friend of the boy’s stepfather, took the then ten-year-old boy under his wing and told him how ‘special he was’.
In his victim-impact report, the man, now aged 31, said this meant so much to him as a boy, as he had no other father figure in his life. He said he was oblivious to the man’s real motives and said the accused was very cunning and devious in his grooming.
The first oral rape attack took place on a fishing trip in remote Mayo. The victim said that at the time he felt numb, sick, scared, alone and lonely.
The rapes, including anal rape, continued on a twice-weekly basis, into the victim’s 20s. In his mid-teens, the victim moved in with his abuser because his family life had become so cruel and neglectful, with no food in the house or clothing on his back.
The court heard he felt he had no other choice but to move in with the accused, and he had convinced himself that the abuse would stop.
At the age of 20, the man said he still felt like a scared ten year old boy, and like a ‘beaten down dog’.
“He made me believe I was worthless, and that he was the only one who cared about me,” he said. He was 22 when the abuse stopped, 12 years after it began.
The man’s daughter was aged 14 when he first raped her. He had accused her of lying to him and had taken her for a walk along a golf course.
When they reached some sand dunes he told her, “I’m going to fuck you for lying.” He then told her to get down on the ground, and he raped her. The woman later told investigators that she was terrified.
The rapes continued on a weekly basis and became ‘like a routine’ for her. The court heard the man had total physical and mental control over his daughter, dictating who she could meet with or speak to.
The man would only have to say he was ‘feeling stressed’ for the victim to know he was going to rape her. In her victim impact report the woman said she was very frightened of her father.
She said her father would threaten her and once told her he would kill her. She was too scared to go to sleep because she would suffer night terrors and dream of the abuse.
She said she used to self-harm to deal with the effects of the abuse and later turned to alcohol and drugs. She said she was terrified to get counselling, that she didn’t want to relive the abuse and didn’t think it would help.
“I don’t care for my life. I want to die most days, I feel so broke inside,” she said.
She said she ‘cannot stand’ men and believed that there was something inside every man that made him capable of rape. She said she ‘freaks out’ at the prospect of sex in a relationship.
The male victim said he felt nothing but hatred and disgust for his abuser and also for himself for not speaking up. He said the man was a ‘manipulative paedophile’ who had stolen his self worth and his ‘very being’.
“The damage this animal has inflicted on my mental health will last to my dying breath. I don’t know who I am,” he said.
He said he has battled suicide and left his own children with a father ‘incapable of compassion’.
After his arrest, the man initially claimed he was in a relationship with the male victim. The court heard this was untrue and the man accepted to gardaí that none of what he did could be justified or right. He said he was grateful that the victims had come forward because he couldn’t live with the guilt.
“I’m sorry. I feel complete hatred for myself,” he said. He also claimed he was the victim of child sex abuse himself.
Mr Justice Hunt said that even with all the help in the world, the man’s action had changed the course of his victims’ lives ‘for the worse’. But he said that he had saved himself a life sentence by pleading guilty to the offences. He then adjourned sentencing to December.