July 2017

Dublin man raped his young niece and her sister named and sentenced

A man who raped his young niece and molested her sister can now be named after he was jailed for ten years.

Francis Rafferty (68) admitted the sexual assault of his young nieces but said he believed his behaviour was harmless.

Rafferty of Botanic Avenue, Drumcondra, Dublin pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting one girl when she was aged between nine and 12 years old between 2005 and 2008.

After a trial at the Central Criminal Court a jury convicted him of two counts of raping this victim and of sexually assaulting her older sister. He was acquitted of two other counts of raping the younger girl. He had denied these charges.

The victims, now adults, gave permission for their uncle’s name to be published. One victim told the court that she went from “playing with dolls to planning her death” after the abuse began.

Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan noted a report from the Probation Service which stated that Rafferty has no understanding of the hurt, trauma or long term effect of his actions on his victims.

She said while Rafferty himself was a victim of historical child abuse he was unable, the report found, to equate his own experience with that of his victims.

She said he abused his position of trust as part of the family unit by abusing young defenseless children. She noted he made threats to the girls, telling them that they would be taken away if they told anyone about the abuse.

The judge said that another aggravating factor was his practice of giving the children’s parents “drinking money” to get them out of the house so he could attack the children.

She said that these crimes had irrevocable consequences of a devastating nature on the victims and their family. She noted that both of the victims had to give evidence in the trial.

She declared Rafferty a sex offender. She ordered that he be subject to two years of post release supervision and ordered him to engage with sex offender treatment programmes.