5 July 2023

~2 minutes read

80-year-old appeals conviction for rapes of his granddaughter in Galway

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80-year-old appeals conviction for rapes of his granddaughter in Galway

Galway Bay FM Newsroom – An 80-year-old man has appealed a conviction for the rapes of his granddaughter in County Galway.

The grandfather was convicted for six rapes of his granddaughter and scores of sexual assaults on her and her two younger sisters between 2014 and 2018

The man, who cannot be named to protect the identities of his victims, was sentenced to ten years in June of last year.

He had already admitted to sexually assaulting the girl and her two sisters 81 times in total when the victims were aged between five and 14 – but had denied the six rapes of the eldest sibling.

He was jailed for five years for the sexual assaults which were to run concurrently to the rape sentences.

After his conviction by a unanimous jury, the then 17-year-old girl told the court that she hopes her case will help other victims of sexual violence.

At the trial, the court heard the man would molest the eldest girl while taking her out on the tractor on his farm and also in her family home.

The court also heard the man began raping her when she turned 10 and this continued for four years,.

Lawyers for the accused appealed the six rape convictions, claiming the trial judge erred when delivering her charge to the jury.

The appeal centres on the trial judge’s comments that the defence in cross examination did not fully question the complainant on some details she made during interviews, which were played to the court.

One of those details include the account the victim made to her mother – which referred to sexual assault, and she did not use the word rape.

Counsel for the defendent said the trial judge had highlighted those matters to the jury, but those matters were not put to the complainant.

However, Mr Fitzgerald, for the State, said it was up to the defence to put certain matters to the witness in order for them to comment but that was not done.

Mr Justice Birmingham said the court would hope to deliver judgement in the appeal on Tuesday, July 11.

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