A Kildare farm labourer has been convicted of raping and sexually abusing his then 12-year-old daughter over a period of nine years.
The 45-year-old man had pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court on Monday to 18 charges of sexual assault, one attempted rape, one oral rape and six charges of rape on dates between September 2001 and September 2010.
The offences occurred in three Kildare towns and on a County Meath farm while the complainant was aged between two and 12 years old.
The jury of 11 men and one woman convicted the man on all 18 sex assault charges, the oral rape and four rape offences.
He will be sentenced next Friday.
Earlier in the trial the jury were shown a DVD of the then 12-year-old girl’s interview with specially trained Garda officers.
She said that her first memory of being abused by her father was one night when her mother was out and she got out of her cot and into her parents’ bed. She said her father later woke her up, took her into the sitting room and molested her.
She said she thought she was either two or three years old at the time and recalled the pyjamas she had been wearing because she said her mother had got them for her two days previously.
The girl said the abuse continued in the same manner on an almost daily basis. She also said her father forced her to watch a pornographic DVD.
Describing one of the earliest incidents of rape she told gardai: “All I remember was I was sitting on the coach watching Bear and the Big Blue House and I fell asleep and when I woke up my father was on top of me. It felt like people were sticking needles into me.”
She recalled an incident when her father pulled up outside an ESB substation in a remote area. He took down his trousers and pinned her down by her shoulders with his knee but he then noticed the gardaí pull up.
She said by the time the gardaí got to the car he had got back into his seat and was no longer dishevelled.
Her father, who also gave evidence during the trial, said he had pulled over because he saw a red light flashing in the car. He claimed he never touched his daughter.
He acknowledged that the gardaí recalled that it was 1am when they spoke to him that night but when asked what he was doing out at that time of night with his young daughter, he said he hadn’t realised the time.
He said he had been at a friend’s home with his daughter and the friend’s wife had watched a movie with the girl and he must have lost track of time.
The girl also also said her father had raped her at a local bog and in a wood. When he raped her in the wood he used a piece of timber to pin her down.
She told gardaí that he used a condom on that occasion and threw it away afterwards. She later pointed out a spot in the wood where she said he had discarded it.
A few days later a garda did recovered a used condom.
That condom was later sent for analysis and a forensic scientist with the State laboratory gave evidence that DNA extracted from semen found in the condom matched that of the accused.
When questioned by gardaí about the condom, the man said he had no explanation for how it got there.
He said he had only used a condom on three or four occasions with the girl’s mother but said that had always been in their home
The girl also claimed that her father had raped her in a shed on a farm where he had worked in Meath.
She said during one incident she was able to get out of the shed by opening it from the inside but another time the inside bolt had been removed. She said bags of feed for the cows where placed on her arms while her father raped her.
She recalled another incident where he had used a thick blue rope to tie her to a tree on the farm before raping her.
The man denied all the allegations and told gardaí in interview that he had not raised his daughter to be a liar.