A man who raped his niece while she was staying with her grandparents at a location in Carlow has been jailed for four-and-a-half years.
The 70-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the victim, pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court of raping his niece on an unknown date in 1978.
Following a two week trial in January, the man was convicted by a jury and was remanded in custody.
Passing sentence today, Mr Justice Paul Coffey said the offence was aggravated by the victim being a child at the time, that she had been raped in her grandparents’ house where she was entitled to feel safe and the breach of familial trust by her uncle.
Mr Justice Coffey said that 42 years have elapsed since the offence and the man has since led an unblemished life.
He said the risk of re-offending was now negligible and noted that the man’s health conditions made him a poor candidate for prison.
He sentenced the man to four-and-a-half years imprisonment.