February 2015

Man who raped and abused former partner’s young child over ten-year period jailed

A Roscommon resident who repeatedly raped a child over a ten year period has been sentenced to 15 years with three suspended.

Andrew McCarthy (35) began raping his former partner’s daughter in 2006 when was she nine years old after taking her to a seaside town. In a victim impact report the woman said McCarthy took her innocence and childhood from her and left her a broken person.

McCarthy of Ballymoe, Castlerea, pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to eleven counts covering the rape, oral rape and sexual assault of the child at houses in Dublin and Galway on dates between May 2006 and January 2011. The sample counts are from a total of 27 charges within that period 

Elva Duffy BL, prosecuting, told the court that the victim is happy for McCarthy to be identified in the press but wants her own identity to remain unpublished at all times.

Mr Justice Paul Carney said one aggravating factor in the case was the fact that McCarthy would ply the victim with alcohol to the point that she suffered liver damage. He also noted that McCarthy photographed and video recorded the abuse.

He suspended the final three years of a 15 year sentence on condition that McCarthy stay away from the victim and undergo 18 months of post release supervision. The judge also ordered that McCarthy be registered as a sex offender.

The abuse was discovered in March 2011 when the victim’s mother saw inappropriate messages on her partner’s Facebook account. In the messages McCarthy was telling the child that he loved her and would wait for her.

The court heard that McCarthy first molested the child in the summer of 2006 after taking her to a seaside amusement arcade where the court heard she had won two big teddies. 

He took her back to a relative’s house where they had to share a bed. After sexually assaulting her he told her he was sorry if it had hurt her.

Around Christmas that year he began asking her about the possibility of her giving him a “blow job” or oral sex. 

Sometime in 2009 he had raped her after she had said no to him. He told her that it would be easier if she just agreed and “got it over with”. 

The court heard McCarthy would take pictures of her partially and fully undressed. He would also take photos and video footage of him orally raping her. 

During this time her mother’s health wasn’t very good and McCarthy would tell her not to tell her mother about the abuse because it might disturb her. 

McCarthy began buying alcohol for the victim and her friends and she later had to be treated in hospital as a result of drinking alcohol from an early age.

He would promise to drive her places but then later make it conditional on her performing oral sex on him. He did this ten times in a three month period in 2009. He also began driving her to a lake area where he would rape her on the bonnet of the car.

In a victim impact report the woman said that instead of being a father figure McCarthy had instilled nothing but fear in her for ten years. 

She said she was too young to understand what he was doing until she went into fifth class. After that she felt disgusting all the time. She was bullied in school and her Leaving Certificate suffered because of an earlier trial during which he had pleaded not guilty.

She said his actions have left a wedge within her family. 

“I don’t sleep I always feel scared and vulnerable. I never feel safe. I have contemplated suicide. I have nightmares. I felt disgusting, insecure, used. I cannot open up to anybody,” she said.

McCarthy has one previous conviction for handling stolen property.

Peter Finlay SC, defending, said his client wishes to apologise for his actions but admitted he has limited insight.