A Limerick teenager who sexually abused his younger step-sister while babysitting her has been sentenced to five years imprisonment.
The 19-year-old man, who cannot be identified to protect the girl’s identity, pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to two counts of oral rape and five counts of sexual assault on dates between February 2011 and January 2012 at locations in Limerick and Clare.
The accused man was 16 years old and the girl was seven when the abuse occurred as he was minding her. He has no previous convictions.
During an earlier hearing, one of the investigating gardai told Vincent Heneghan BL, prosecuting, that at the time of the abuse the teenager would mind his step-sister for a time in the afternoons.
His father noticed in the latter part of 2011 his son was becoming withdrawn and the girl’s mother noticed she was becoming clingy.
The accused was away from the family home for a time after Christmas. The teenager sent his father a text message saying he had been abusing the young girl. The man was shocked and told the girl’s mother.
They contacted the local GP and HSE. The teenager told his GP that he had done some things that he should not have and that it had been going on for a year.
He said he had been angry with his father for putting him in the position of minding his step sister.
The parents got advice from the HSE and gardai and did not broach the subject with the girl until an appropriate time.
When they did she said the accused had been touching her.
She was interviewed by garda specialists and told them the accused would drag her to his room and make her touch his penis and put his penis in her mouth. The abuse took place on a nearly daily basis.
The accused was 17 when he was arrested and interviewed. He admitted abusing the girl and said he had moved out because he wanted to stop abusing her.
In a victim impact statement the girl said she felt uncomfortable since the abuse had happened. She said she was glad she had the strength to tell and that making the statement had helped her. “I would really like to never see him again,” she said. The girl said she did not want to be known as a victim.
Andrew Sexton SC, defending, said reports handed into court showed the accused felt immense shame and was taking full responsibly for his actions. He said he had expressed remorse.
He said there had been a very early guilty plea and a confession in the case.
He asked the court to take into account the accused was a child at the time of the offending.
Mr Sexton said his client has paid a price already and had been in custody for some months which had been “shocking.”
Suspending the final three years of an eight year sentence, Mr Justice Paul Carney said the sentence was in line with “the distressing details of the case” along with the breach of trust, the inherent gravity of the offences and the age of the victim.
He ordered that the teenager have no contact with the victim and directed that he be supervised by the Probation Service for 18 months following his release.
He also placed the teenager’s name on the Register of Sex Offenders.
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