Tallaght man who sexually abused three girls jailed for 12 years

Tallaght man who sexually abused three girls jailed for 12 years

By Declan Brennan and Isabel Hayes

A MAN who sexually abused three young girls for over a decade and “stole their childhoods” has been jailed for 12 years.

Dublin man Thomas Kavanagh (66) began molesting one child when she was aged between five and seven and told her it was a normal thing.

Criminal Courts of Justice

This later progressed to oral and vaginal rape which continued until she was 17.

Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan said that Kavanagh manipulated and controlled all three victims from a young age.

“He destroyed a part of their lives that can’t be recovered when he stole their childhoods,” the judge said.

Kavanagh, formerly of Tamarisk Heights, Tallaght but more recently living in Wales, pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to 57 counts of indecently and sexually assaulting three victims at locations in county Dublin.

Following a trial, a jury convicted him of 26 counts of rape, seven counts of indecent assault and one count of sexual assault. The abuse occurred recurrently between 1979 and 1992.

The court heard one of Kavanagh’s victims couldn’t remember a time in her life when she was not abused by him. She felt “isolated, confused, alone and scared” throughout her early years.

Another victim said she thought no-one would believe her if she came forward about the abuse. She still feels “guilt, hurt, shame and fear” because of the abuse she suffered at his hands.

All three women displayed “great courage and dignity”, Ms Justice Heneghan said. She noted Kavanagh had expressed remorse since the trial and accepted the jury’s verdict. He has no previous convictions.

The court heard he has a long work history as a qualified technical driver and, later, a taxi driver. He contributed to the Para-Olympics by providing coach transport.

Ms Justice Heneghan backdated the sentence to February, when Kavanagh was taken into custody.

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