Story By: Ulster Gazette
THIS is the Newtownhamilton man who prolifically sexually abused a 13 year-old child over a two year period.
Darren Davidson was jailed last Monday for nine years for a catalogue of abuse carried out against the daughter of his former partner.
Davidson, 37, formerly of Dungormley estate in Newtown was unanimously convicted last March at Dublin’s Central Criminal Court of 11 sexual offences at the victim’s home between 2008 and 2010.
But the victim is adamant that eleven times doesn’t come close to the actual amount of times she was sexually abused by Davidson.
“I want to emphasise to you that if he was capable of abusing me twice within two days, think of the amount of times he sexually abused me within those two years. Eleven counts does not come close to the amount of times I was abused by Darren.” The victim said in her impact statement, which was read to the court.
“I loved Darren as a father and looked up to him since I was six years old.
“Unfortunately I will never have any childhood memories without Darren present.
“I am thankful that those 12 people on the jury panel were unanamously able to see Darren for what he is – a man that I thought of as my father who sexually assaulted me for nearly two years, a man that has taken away my childhood, teenage years and his actions have continued to have an impact to this day on my adult life.”
Now aged 21, the vicim bravely waived her right to anonymity.
She told the court that she did not wish to be a victim, but felt the abuse would always be with her.
The court heard how Davidson had also suggested to his partner that the victim should be put on the birth control pill. He was secretly assaulting her at this time.
It’s understood the abuse happened in Monaghan in the Republic of Ireland. Davidson had been questioned by Irish police, but emigrated to Australia.
He was arrested in Manchester airport the following year and agreed to be extradited to the Republic of Ireland.
The former driving instructor was unanimously convicted last March at Dublin’s Central Criminal Court of 11 sexual offences.
Davidson’s victim said she found the trial process incredibly difficult because she had to be in close proximity to Davidson, but was glad she went through with it.
“When I look at my younger sister I feel I have protected her and that makes the trial worth it,” she said.
She said she decided to make a complaint to the police because the abuse was getting more frequent and severe and she felt she had to protect her siblings.
The judge said she had the “classic symptoms of being abused by someone they trust”.
He said that without any mitigating factors, he would have imposed a 12-year sentence. However, he took into account Davidson’s good work history, his character references and his epilepsy.
He imposed a 10-year term with the final year suspended and ordered that Davidson be registered as a sex offender.
The girl told her mother about the abuse in 2010 and she took the children and left the house. Gardaí were alerted and Davidson was interviewed. However, the investigation stalled when he emigrated to Australia.
A defence lawyer said Davidson had since married another women who was standing by him.
Meanwhile the Ulster Gazette has been contacted by a number of mothers from the Newtownhamilton area who expressed their concern that Davidson had been operating as a driving instructor in the area with access to young people.