January 2021

Stepdad who abused stepdaughter over two years offers no apology for his crimes

A man jailed for the sexual abuse and attempted rape of his stepdaughter was released from prison this week – but didn’t apologise for his crimes.

Reginald Arnold – who told his young victim he would “ride her” and tied her up with a belt and stripped her – got a nine-year sentence for the perverted attacks on the girl.

This week, after being released from custody having served his time, the Cork man declined the opportunity to say sorry.

When approached by the Sunday World, a young man who identified himself as a close relative pushed into the way.

“No, go away. Go away, bud. I don’t care…” he said, pushing his arm at our man.

“I’d advise you… Don’t even follow him, don’t even follow him,” he added in a threatening manner.

Asked to stop touching the reporter, the relative then said: “Can you see the man, the way he’s walking? Leave him alone and don’t follow him.”

Frail Arnold then shuffled back to their car and sat inside, ready to restart his life after prison.

In a victim impact report read in court during his 2014 trial, the girl he attacked said she still suffers from nightmares, fearing her attacker will come back to get her and hurt her family.

“I find it very hard to be around men. I do not trust men, I have no confidence in myself. I was always such a happy child. I will never get over what happened to me, this will stay with me forever,” she said.

“I get nightmares he will come back to get me and hurt my family. He has totally destroyed my belief in myself.”

“I was only a child and he was a monster to me. I will never get over this,” she stated.

She had waived her right to anonymity to allow Arnold to be named. He began abusing her when she was 12, the same year he married her mother.

During his 2014 trial at which the judge remarked he showed no remorse, the sex monster denied the sickening attacks which took place “whenever he could”.

His decision to plead not guilty meant that the victim had to giver evidence in court and face cross-examination by his defence counsel.

The victim had described to gardai a number of incidents involving touching, masturbation, being tied to a bed and attempted rape.

On one occasion Arnold touched her private parts after handing her a E10 note and telling her to be a good girl.

In another attack they were watching TV together and he took his trousers and underwear off and forced her to masturbate him.

He attempted to rape her in 2009, when she was 14, after telling her: “I’m going to ride you”. The attack stopped when he heard two knocks at the front door.

During an attack the following year Arnold went into her bedroom and took a belt from her wardrobe and tied her wrists with it.

He pulled her arms up over her head and pulled her clothes and underwear down.

He then sat looking at her for five minutes before untying her hands and leaving. The court heard the girl was “particularly terrified” during this incident.

Arnold would sexually assault the victim “any time he got a chance” by molesting her when he thought no-one was looking, the court was told.

A jury found Arnold, from Togher, Cork, guilty of four counts of sexually assaulting and one count of attempted rape of the girl at his home between April 2008 and August 2010.

After a four-day trial the jury also found him guilty of restricting the personal liberty of a child for sexual exploitation.

It was heard Arnold had an alcohol abuse problem from an early age and he has previous convictions going back to the 1970s, including burglaries and assaults.

The trial judge said there was no remorse shown by Arnold.

He suspended the last two years of an 11-year prison term on condition that Arnold comply with the instructions of the Probation Services.

During an appeal submission in 2016 it was said that the original judge failed to warn the jury about a conflict of evidence between the victim and another witness, but that was dismissed.

Turning to the question of sentence, an appeal court judge said there had been no guilty plea which meant the scope for mitigation and leniency was reduced.

The court accepted that the then defence counsel was, as one would expect, restrained and respectable in his cross examination of the victim.

“But in truth that is what is to be expected,” the judge said.

Overall, he said the sentence could not be said to fall outside the range of sentences available to the trial judge and the sentence appeal was dismissed.

March 2016

Vile sex beast who abused stepdaughter has appeal dismissed

RA

A man jailed for the sexual abuse and attempted rape of his stepdaughter has had appeals against his conviction and sentence dismissed by the Court of Appeal.

Reginald Arnold (58) of Michael Fitzgerald Road, Togher, Cork, had pleaded not guilty to sexual assault, attempted rape and restricting the personal liberty of a child for the purpose of sexual exploitation at his home between April 2008 and August 2010.

He was found guilty by a jury and sentenced to 11 years imprisonment with the final two suspended by Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy on June 19, 2014.

Arnold had appeals against his conviction and sentence dismissed today in the Court of Appeal.

Giving judgment, Mr Justice George Birmingham said Arnold and his stepdaughter, who had waived her right to anonymity so that he could be identified, lived together at their home in Cork with her mother, who Arnold married in 2008.

The abuse began when she was aged 12.

In her evidence, the victim described a number of incidents involving touching, masturbation, being tied to a bed and attempted rape.

Arnold touched her private parts after handing her a ten euro note and telling her to be a good girl.

On another occasion they were watching TV together and he took his trousers and underwear off and forced her to masturbate him.

He attempted to rape her in 2009, when she was aged 14, after telling her “I’m going to ride you”. He ended the attack when he heard two knocks at the front door.

During an attack the following year Arnold went into her bedroom and took a belt from her wardrobe and tied her wrists with it. He pulled her arms up over her head and pulled her clothes and underwear down.

He then sat looking at her for five minutes before untying her hands and leaving. The court heard the girl was “particularly terrified” during this incident.

Arnold would sexually assault the victim “any time he got a chance” by molesting her when he thought no-one was looking.

Counsel for Arnold, Michael Bowman SC, submitted that the trial judge ought to have given a corroboration warning in the context of a conflict between the victim’s evidence and a witness statement by her friend in relation to a sleepover.

On that occasion, Arnold asked her friend for a kiss but she said no. He then turned to his step-daughter, kissed her and attempted to put his tongue in her mouth.

The victim’s friend stated that she did not remember anything strange happening which was central to the argument advanced about a requirement for a corroboration warning.

Mr Justice Birmingham said there was no basis for suggesting that the discretion enjoyed by the trial judge could only be exercised one way. He said corroboration warnings were not given as a matter of routine. The issue was by statute a matter for the judge’s discretion and authorities stated that appeal courts should be slow to intervene.

If the Court of Appeal were to conclude that the circumstances of this case mandated a corroboration warning then the cases where one was required would be few and the legislative policy would be set at nought, the judge said.

Mr Justice Birmingham, who sat with Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan and Mr Justice Alan Mahon, dismissed the conviction appeal.

Turning to the question of sentence, Mr Justice Birmingham said there had been no guilty plea. It meant the scope for mitigation and leniency was reduced.

The court accepted that then defence counsel was, as one would expect, restrained and respectable in his cross examination of the victim. “But in truth that is what is to be expected,” the judge said.

Overall, he said the sentence could not be said to fall outside the range of sentences available to the trial judge.

Accordingly his sentence appeal was dismissed.

June 2014

Cork man who tied stepdaughter to bed and sexually assaulted her is jailed

A Cork man has been jailed for nine years for the attempted rape and repeated sexual assault of his step-daughter.

Reginald Arnold (56) tied the 14-year-old girl to a bed using a belt before sexually assaulting her, the Central Criminal Court heard.

Last month a jury found Arnold, of Michael Fitzgerald Road, Togher, Cork, guilty of four counts of sexually assaulting and one count of attempted rape of Joanne Crowley at his home between April 2008 and August 2010.

After a four day trial the jury also found him guilty of restricting the personal liberty of a child for sexual exploitation.

Arnold had pleaded not guilty to all charges. A not guilty verdict was directed by the judge on three other charges of sexual assault.

Timothy O’Leary SC said that his client maintains his innocence.  Thomas Creed SC, prosecuting, said that the victim wishes to waive her right to anonymity.

Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy said that there was no remorse shown by Arnold. He suspended the last two years of an eleven year prison term on condition that Arnold comply with the instructions of the Probation Services.

Garda Rory O’Connell said that the abuse began when the girl was aged 12 and Arnold touched her private parts after handing her a ten euro note and telling her to be a good girl.

On another occasion they were watching TV together and he took his trousers and underwear off and forced her to masturbate him.

He attempted to rape her in 2009, when she was aged 14, after telling her “I’m going to ride you”. He ended the attack when he heard two knocks at the front door.

Gda O’Connell said during an attack the following year Arnold went into the victim’s bedroom and took a belt from her wardrobe and tied her wrists with it. He pulled her arms up over her head and pulled her clothes and underwear down.

The garda said he then sat looking at her for five minutes before untying her hands and leaving. The court heard the girl was “particularly terrified” during this incident.

The garda added that Arnold would sexually assault the victim “any time he got a chance” by molesting her when he thought no-one was looking.

In a victim impact report read into court the girl said she still suffers from nightmares that her attacker will come back to get her and hurt her family.

She said: “I find it very hard to be around men. I do not trust men, I have no confidence in myself. I was always such a happy child. I will never get over what happened to me, this will stay with me forever.

“I get nightmares he will come back to get me and hurt my family. He has totally destroyed my belief in myself

“I was only a child and he was a monster to me. I will never get over this.”

Arnold has had an alcohol abuse problem since an early age. He has previous convictions going back to the 1970’s including burglaries and assaults.