Man who sexually assaulted daughter’s best friend is jailed

Man who sexually assaulted daughter’s best friend is jailed

A man who sexually assaulted his daughter’s best friend while the child was staying in their family home has been jailed for two years.

The now 54-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the then 16-year-old girl, sent a sexually explicit text message to the girl after she left the room she had been in with him and went upstairs to his daughter.

The girl showed the message to the accused’s daughter and told her that he had just sexually assaulted her. The daughter went downstairs and confronted her father who then left the home and drove to a pier with the intention of committing suicide, the court heard.

A Garda detective told Gerardine Small BL, prosecuting, that the man sent a text message to his wife saying he had touched the girl’s breast and he was sorry. He said he was “no paedo”, told her there was enough money to clear the mortgage and she could have his pension.

Gardaí­ and the RNLI were later called in to encourage the man to come back from sitting on the rocks at the pier after he threatened to take his life by jumping into the sea.

The man, who described himself later to gardaí as a functioning alcoholic, has since left the family home.

He pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to two counts of sexual assault and a charge of sending an explicit message to a child at his then home in Dublin on a date in August 2020. He has no previous convictions.

On Wednesday, Judge Elma Sheahan said that the man’s repeated and persistent efforts to sexually assault the victim was an aggravating factor, as were the words spoken and sent in text messages to her.

The court heard he told the child “you have a nice pair of tits” as he fondled her breasts while she asked him to stop and tried to remove his hand. Judge Sheahan said these words spoken “added insult to injury”.

She said the victim was terrified by the attack, which has continued to cause distress, hurt and damage to the child. She noted the breach of trust placed by the child in her friends’ father.

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