A WEST of Ireland man who abused a young stepdaughter was found guilty by a jury at the Circuit Criminal Court in Castlebar today (Friday) of a single charge of assault, ill-treatment and neglect.
The accused, who cannot be named for legal reasons, will be sentenced by Judge Rory MacCabe in June.
He was found not guilty by the jury of 77 other charges relating to alleged abuse of his victim and other stepchildren.
The jury delivered a guilty verdict on a charge relating to a stepdaughter who gave evidence earlier of “nasty and continuous” abuse from the time the accused came to live with her mother.
The girl, who is now a teenager, said her stepfather would put her standing in a corner for five hours on one leg for being bold as punishment and then beat her if she put her foot down.
The victim was often in tears as she told of other ‘punishments’ including being made stand in the cold in her garden because her pants weren’t straight and being pulled out of her bed at night by the hair to wash dishes.
The witness explained: “It was grand when mum was there but when she was gone he would attack. It wasn’t good.
“When he came to live with us he seemed okay but he started abusing us and it got heavier and heavier. It just got worse every day until mum threw him out.”
When questioned by gardai about his stepchildren’s allegations, the accused – who has two children from a previous relationship - denied abusing them stating he had treated the stepchildren as his own.
He said he might have put the children in the bold corner sometimes, given them a slap, but never hurt them.
In his statement to gardai, the accused added: “I am prepared to fight this all the way way because I am innocent”.
Today (Friday) Judge MacCabe ordered a probation report before remanding the accused to June 24 for sentencing.