Man acquitted of all 29 counts of sexual assault against his daughter at Naas Circuit Court

Jury decision was unanimous and took just over two hours

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Man acquitted of all 29 counts of sexual assault against his daughter at Naas Circuit Court

The case concluded at Naas Circuit Court today.

A man accused of 29 charges of sexual assault against his daughter has this morning been found not guilty of all charges at Naas Circuit Court.

After almost three full days of evidence and submissions the jury of nine women and three men took two hours and eight minutes to arrive at a unanimous verdict of not guilty to all of the charges preferred against the man.

Sitting at Naas  Circuit Court this morning, Friday, April 20, Judge Seán Ó Donobháin dismissed the jury and excused them from having to serve on a jury for five years.

He refused an application by counsel for the defendant for costs on the basis that the defendant’s income is high, that the case had been properly investigated and put before the jury and that he was not impressed with the conduct of the defendant while in the witness box during the trial.

The trial against the man, who cannot be identified to protect the identity of the complainant, heard evidence of charges which had alleged that over the course of a period of almost two years more than a decade ago he had sexually abused his daughter.

All but one of the 29 charges related to a period when the complainant was a young teenager at the time and it was claimed that they occurred in a house in county Kildare that the family had just bought and moved into.

The final charge had alleged that a sexual assault had occurred more recently, in 2013, when contact between the complainant and her father was re-established following an earlier period of estrangement, and after she moved to Dublin to continue her education.

The complainant had alleged that on numerous occasions she would wake to find her father with his hand on her genitals and inserting his fingers into her vagina or licking her genitals and her vagina.

Over the course of three days, evidence was heard from both the complainant, her mother, a brother of hers, a friend, a school teacher, the investigating detective Christina Brady and the defendant, the complainant's father.

The jury also heard significant evidence from a number of the witnesses of the turbulent nature of the relationships in the family, which was a considerable element in the narrative of both the prosecution and the defence.

Counsel for the prosecution, Paul Murray, SC

Counsel for the prosecution Paul Murray had told the jury that the complainant's allegations had been both detailed and consistent for the past 10 years and that she had maintained her stance notwithstanding suffering terribly by feeling ostracised and isolated by other members of her family.

On the other hand, counsel for the defence Conor Devally closely examined the allegations, both in their nature, their timing and even their narrative, and by placing them in the context of the complicated and often turbulent dynamics of her parent's relationship at various times, he sought to undermine the credibility of the complainant’s allegations.

The defendant did not react to the verdict immediately, but shortly afterwards put his head down on the barrier in front of the dock. Speaking to the Leinster Leader afterwards, the complainant, the man’s daughter, said that she was devastated.

Read more: Naas court hears allegation daughter would wake to find father sexually assaulting her

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