A man who began raping his daughter when she was nine and later claimed she had initiated the sex has been jailed for 11 years.
The man, who cannot be named to protect the child’s anonymity, told gardaí his daughter was a compulsive liar and that she enjoyed the sexual intercourse.
The man pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to nine counts of rape committed on dates between October 2011 and April 2017.
In her victim impact statement, which was read out in court, she said her father controlled her and made her too scared to report the attacks. She said she didn’t know anything about sex when he first raped her and didn’t know it was wrong until she became older.
The girl said the rapes took place twice a week until she was aged 14, saying, “I was used to it, it was part of my week.”
She said the abuse took part of her childhood away and had left her angry and sad.
“He was supposed to care for me. He was so controlling over me. He was the boss of the house,” she said.
After the victim went to gardaí, her father, originally from Nigeria, told them his daughter had initiated the sexual activity by tickling him.
He claimed he was shocked and said he did not enjoy it. He denied providing pregnancy test kits for the victim.
Lack of insight
Mr Justice Michael White said the man showed a lack of insight into his offending by trying to minimise his blame and attributing blame to his daughter and her mother.
He set a headline sentence of 15 years but reduced this to 13 years after taking into consideration the man’s difficult personal history and the “important acknowledgement” of his offending in his pleas of guilty.
He suspended two years of this prison term on condition the man engage with assessment for sex offender treatment.
The child told gardaí that her father raped her on ten occasions in between taking one pregnancy test and another and would rape her in the house “any time he had a chance.”
She said if she tried to refuse, he would take off his belt and threaten to hit her. He also threatened her when she said she would report the attacks.
Blaise O’Carroll SC, defending, told the court that his client was considered to be at a low risk of re-offending by the Probation Service.
Mr Justice White paid tribute to the courage of the victim and to her friend who disclosed the abuse to an adult. He also said he had no doubt that the victim’s mother knew nothing about the abuse and was horrified when it came to light.