Limerick abuse victim says she was ‘robbed’ of her innocence


A WOMAN who was groomed and sexually abused over a five-year period when she was a child says she was stripped of her human rights by her abuser.

The woman, now aged 36, made her comments in a Victim Impact Statement which was delivered at Limerick Circuit Court during the sentencing hearing of the man who abused her 30 years ago.

Martin Roche, aged 54, who has an address at South Circular Road pleaded guilty to eight sample charges when he was arraigned at Limerick Circuit Court earlier this year.

The offences occurred at three different addresses on the outskirts of the city on dates between January 1, 1984 and December 31, 1989.

The victim, who now lives in Great Britain, was aged five when the first of the offences happened. Most of the offences involved the defendant kissing and touching the girl in her vagina area while on another occasion he forced her to feel his penis after he took her to a field on the pretext that he was showing her some horses.

During a sentencing hearing, Detective Sergeant James Ruddle said the injured party first contacted gardai in June 2010 and that she made a formal statement of complaint in August of the same year.

He said Mr Roche initially denied all of the allegations when he was arrested and questioned in November 2011.

However, he subsequently made admissions in relation to some of the offences and later acknowledged his wrong doing.

In her Victim Impact Statement, which was read to the court by John O’Sullivan BL, prosecuting, the woman said she had been manipulated by Mr roche and was “bullied into a world of silence, shame, fear and anxiety”.

She said as a child she worried that she could be pregnant and that she “grew up into an adolescent with no confidence, very low self belief and poor body image.”

The woman, who continues to attend counselling, added: “I am here today to seek justice for that six-year-old little girl who had her innocence robbed from her and replaced with a future of shame and anxiety.”

Up to now, Mr Roche could not be identified in the media but Judge Carroll Moran lifted reporting restrictions on condition the victim is not identified.

Mr Roche will be sentenced on July 30.


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