Kerryman avoids jail for sex assault of cousin

A Kerryman has received a suspended prison sentence for the sexual assault of his younger female cousin.

Padraig Tangney Jnr was 16 when he abused the 13-year-old at his family home in Meadowlands Estate, Tralee.

The now 39-year-old pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual assault of a child at Meadowlands Estate on unknown dates in 1995 and 1996.

The Central Criminal Court heard on one occasion Padraig Tangney Jnr pushed his younger female cousin down on a bed and sexually molested her.

She told her mother two years later and this led to a confrontation between the families in which the defendant made admissions.

The victim and her mother went to gardaí around 1999 but a prosecution wasn’t progressed at that time, and the victim emigrated some time later and now lives abroad.

Justice Tara Burns said at the time of offending Padraig Tangney Jnr was legally a child himself and this had to be considered as one aspect of mitigation.

She accepted his genuine remorse and noted his offending had an effect on himself; the Probation Service assessed him at being at a low risk of reoffending.

Justice Burns noted the victim, who waived her right to anonymity, was extremely fragile and the guilty pleas were helpful.

She said due to all these factors prison isn’t warranted, and suspended a two year term on condition Padraig Tangney Jnr attend counselling for depression and stress management; he’s automatically registered as a sex offender.

Justice Burns said the fact he wasn’t jailed shouldn’t be seen as vindication or as a lessening of the enormous impact of his assaults on the victim.