November 2014

Uncle who abused his niece (9) on Christmas Day is jailed for 2 years

Christopher McCarthy

AN UNCLE who abused two of his nieces from the age of nine including sexual assaults on Christmas morning and at a gala Cork GAA function has been jailed for two-and-a-half years.

Christopher McCarthy (50) was jailed as the court heard he was at a high risk of re-offending.

The court was also told that he could not be assessed for paedophilia tendencies because of his ongoing denial and refusal to engage with support services.

Christopher McCarthy’s older brother is Gerald McCarthy, a member of Cork’s three-in-a-row All Ireland side of the 1970s.

Christopher McCarthy (50) of Glendalough Park, The Lough, Cork was convicted last July of two counts of sexually assaulting his niece in 1984 and 1989.

He was jailed by Judge David Riordan in Cork Circuit Criminal Court yesterday.

He had earlier pleaded guilty to one count of sexually assaulting another niece

The abuse happened at his home in Elm Close in Wilton on an unknown date between 1988 and 1990.

Judge Riordan jailed McCarthy for five years for what he described as “a very serious breach of trust”.

But he agreed to suspend the final two and half years of the term on condition McCarthy underwent appropriate treatment in custody, and complied with a Probation Service supervision on his release.

“It will be a ‘Sword of Damocles’ for him, if you will, in relation to the suspended sentence,” he said.

Judge Riordan also directed that McCarthy be included on the Sex Offenders Register for an indefinite period.

McCarthy’s wife, Margaret, had previously told the court that her husband needed psychiatric help and was very depressed.

His two nieces, in harrowing victim impact statements, said their lives had been wrecked by McCarthy’s actions.

One victim was abused by Christopher McCarthy when she was 15 at a special ‘This is Your Life’ tribute at Pairc Ui Chaoimh to another of her uncles, Cork hurling legend, Gerald McCarthy.

She had also been abused by Christopher in 1984 when she was just nine, and was at his parents’ home in Ballyphehane on Christmas Day.

“Because of you, I have always been treated like a family outcast,” Ms Walsh said.

“I have always been made to feel who I am doesn’t matter and just keep that family secret.”

Ms O’Brien (35) was just nine when abused.

“When Christopher McCarthy abused me, my childhood was stolen from me. He took my innocence away, I felt confused and scared,” she said. The court heard that McCarthy was even a godfather to one niece.

He had given one some money after the abuse in a bid to persuade her to stay silent.

Judge Riordan noted that the lives of both victims were significantly impacted by the abuse and its aftermath.

He noted reports which said McCarthy had a “callous and remote attitude” to what he had done.

Judge Riordan also pointed out that expert reports said McCarthy posed a high risk of re-offending and should have absolutely no unsupervised access to children.