January 2019

Limerick man jailed for 11 years for raping partner’s young daughter

A LIMERICK man who was “obsessed” with his partner’s young daughter has been jailed for 11 years for raping and sexually abusing her.

Liam O’Dwyer (45) of Capparoe, Adare, Co. Limerick, was convicted of eight charges of sexual assault, four sample charges of rape and one of oral rape after a retrial last year.

He had denied these charges, which took place in his then partner’s bedroom between October 1996 and December 2001 when the girl was aged from 12 to 17 years.

Counsel for the prosecution told the Central Criminal Court that while the woman does not want to waive her right to anonymity, she did want O’Dwyer’s name to be published.

Sergeant Brendan Casey said some of the woman’s family gave evidence at the trial that O’Dwyer seemed obsessed with her and always wanted to know where she was.

One family member said she had felt “most uncomfortable” with the way O’Dwyer looked at the girl, but parked the issue as nobody else raised it.

Other family revealed that O’Dwyer rang their house up to four times a day when the girl came to visit them at one stage. They said she would often cry after the phone conversations but told them it was because she was missing her mother.

These witnesses described the girl at that time as “very withdrawn” and not like a normal teenager. The sergeant said that, years later, the young woman’s life spiralled out of control and she got involved with the wrong people and began to abuse drugs.

She finally made her statement to gardaí in 2014 about the childhood abuse.

The woman read her victim impact statement in court and asked the judge to think of her and her life when passing sentence. She described how she is still recovering from the ways the abuse and exploitation has hurt her through her teenage years and into adulthood.

She said she now lives her life in fear that someone will hurt her physically and psychologically and that she had pushed out her feelings and trauma.

The woman described how her drug addiction brought her to a place she never wants to return to.

She said it was “like going into a boxing match every day knowing I was going to lose but putting myself through it regardless”. She said she experiences flashbacks, nightmares and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Mr Justice Paul McDermott said the woman was “groomed into submission” by O’Dwyer who was in a position of trust. He noted O’Dwyer continues to deny the charges and has expressed no remorse.

He jailed O’Dwyer for 11 years and ordered that he undergo three years post-release supervision to protect the public and prevent future sexual offending.