Man continued to abuse girl after apologising twice to family

July 16, 2021

A Donegal man who was twice challenged for abusing a young relative by his family apologised before continuing to abuse his victim.

The man, who is in his late 60s, cannot be named to protect the identity of the young woman.

The man appeared at Letterkenny Circuit Court where he pleaded guilty to seven charges put before him.

All of the attacks on the young girl, who was aged 14 when the abuse began, took place between January 2014 and May 2017.

Judge John Aylmer said the nature of the assaults may be described as being at the lower end of the scale.

However, he said aggravating factors included a significant breach of trust over a sustained period of time.

He also noted that family members had approached the man about the abuse on two occasions and he apologised for his actions but continued to abuse the young girl.

The assaults had such an impact on the girl and her family that they had to move away from Co Donegal.

The girl appeared via videolink.

Judge Aylmer said the assaults merited sentences of three years on each charge to run concurrently.

He said the man now suffered from ill health, had no previous convictions, was very remorseful for his actions and had worked hard to provide for his family all his life.

Because of this he would impose a sentence of two years but added that on the grounds of age and ill health, he would suspend the final six months of the sentence meaning the accused will serve 18 months in prison.