A man who repeatedly raped and sexually assaulted his son has been sentenced to nine years in prison.
At the man’s hearing last week, Judge David Keane had noted that the authors of character references must appear in court and be available for cross-examination.
Lawyers for the 39-year-old Tipperary man had asked the court to consider references from the man’s current partner and his parents. The man has a long-term relationship and has other children with this woman.
Justice Keane said it was difficult to see the weight a court might place on family references.
The man was convicted after a trial last December of three charges of oral rape against his son and three charges of assault at his home in a Co Tipperary town on unknown dates between 2007-2014.
The victim was between one and eight years old when his father raped and assaulted him. The abuse came to light in 2016 when the child told a peer his own age that his father had “let him touch him” and “wanted him to touch his genitals and suck on his genitals,” the court heard.
Judge Keane, who completed his sentence on Friday, said the perpetrator had exploited a vulnerable child and betrayed the access rights given to him as a father.
He agreed with an argument by Karl Finnegan BL, the prosecutor, that the case lies in the more serious cases of rape, according to the classification established by the Court of Appeal. He imposed a capital sentence of 11 years.
He noted that the perpetrator does not accept the jury’s verdicts and continues to deny the violations. As a result, he has not apologized or apologized, made amends or engaged in rehabilitation.
He has a number of previous convictions, including one for assault. A probation risk assessment places him at moderate risk for sexual reoffending in the coming year, citing his sexual deviance, his degree of callousness, and lack of remorse or empathy for the victim.
He noted that the offender is well integrated in the prison and is at an improved inmate level.
He reduced the principal sentence to nine years. Judge Keane said he would not suspend the sentence because it is not possible to encourage rehabilitation if the perpetrator continues to deny the crime.
He imposed surveillance for three years after release, during which he ordered the offender to engage in crime-related work and follow all probation orders.
He previously praised the resilience of the victim, who stated in a victim report that the sexual abuse did not affect him much and that he tries to continue for the rest of his life.
Judge Keane has retroactively reversed the start of the sentence to Dec. 15, when the man was taken into custody after his conviction.