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Lady imprisoned for assault of step-daughter

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A woman has been imprisoned for two years after a court in Cork heard she treated her action child like a modern-day Cinderella, ridiculing her with the name “Cora Ella” whilst subjecting her to poundings with pokers and force-feeding her vinegar, mustard, salt and chilli powder.

Part-time cleaner Bridget Kenneally, 49, of Duncoran, Youghal, Co Cork, pleaded guilty to one count of assault of Cora Desmond at Kenny’s Lane, Youghal, on a date between 1 October and 31 October, 2009.

She was sentenced on a background of abusing Ms Desmond for more than ten years.

Ms Desmond, now 21, provided a victim effect statement at a sentencing hearing at Cork Circuit Lawbreaker Court.

She detailed the abuse that happened at the hands of Kenneally from when she was aged six to 16

She informed Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin that when she was 5 her dad, who had full custody of her, started a relationship with Kenneally.

Initially, Kenneally appeared “good and caring”, but this honeymoon duration did not last long.

She said: “About six months into the 11- year relationship the horrific abuse started with a couple of slaps and punches, but then gradually became worse. Throughout the years it ended up being clear to me that I was nothing but a punching bag to Bridget.

” Her children might go socialize with buddies of their picking. My sibling and myself were declined daily of the same liberty. Rather, we were restricted to her home to tidy up after her and her kids.

” Bridget provided me the name ‘Cora Ella’ and informed me I was much like Cinderella because I was the one who was not wanted or enjoyed.”

Ms Desmond said she lived a double life for 11 years, feeling caught in the house waiting on the next whipping or punishment. In school, she stated, she was “happy, free and bubbly”.

Nevertheless, she stated she eventually lost her confidence.

The grocery store employee, who stated she is extremely grateful to gardaí for the level of sensitivity revealed to her in the lead approximately the case, stated that her youth involved psychological and physical torture.

She stated: “One of the recurring daily punishments – she would feed me extreme amounts of salt, pepper, mustard, chilli powder and vinegar.

” Considering that my departure from her care I have long lasting negative responses to particular smells and tastes. It revives memories and flashbacks of the torture she put me through.

” There were constant spoken dangers that she would eliminate me if I ever told anyone of the abuse I endured.”

Cora Desmond offered a victim effect declaration at the Circuit Criminal Court in Cork

Ms Desmond stated that due to the fact that of the “heinous crime of cruelty” inflicted on her, she suffers from depression and hesitates to go anywhere on her own.

” You (Bridget) robbed me of my carefree youth that every child is entitled to. I now understand that none of it was my fault and I didn’t be worthy of any of it, though that is what she made me think,” she stated.

Sgt Mark Ward stated that throughout the abuse Ms Desmond was routinely beaten with pokers, sticks of the vacuum cleaner, belts and spatulas. She was hospitalised for a week in 2008 emerging out of her injuries.

He said that Kenneally called Cora a variation of Cinderella and treated her and her sis differently from her biological children.

Concerns were raised over the years by, among others, a principal of a nationwide school she attended. On one celebration, a GP found 50 contusions on her body.

Kenneally was talked to informally in 2016 and was arrested in 2017 after a complaint had actually been made against her. She made no admissions to gardaí, however ultimately entered a guilty plea in the case.

Sgt Ward said that the guilty plea was of help to the court considered that a trial would have involved 14 witnesses.

Lawyer Patrick O’Riordan, who represented Kenneally, said his customer had entered a guilty plea and had paid EUR5,000 in payment. He stated she was a female without previous convictions.

He told the court that Kenneally had 6 kids in her care at the time of the offenses and was experiencing trouble coping.

He stated his client had “a lengthy psychiatric history” and wished to apologise to the victim in the event.

Judge Ó Donnabháin asked the victim if she felt the apology was authentic. She stated she did not think that Kenneally was sorry for her actions.

Having actually read the psychologist’s reports, Judge Ó Donnabháin stated Kenneally seemed to blame everyone however herself for her actions.

He stated, having actually taken the entirety of the abuse into factor to consider, a custodial sentence was required.

” This was a case of ongoing cruelty. This was systemic abuse and cruelty. She (Cora) was deprived of a childhood due to the fact that of the pain and anguish she underwent,” he said.

Judge Ó Donnabháin imprisoned Kenneally for 2 years, saying that he was horrified by the tale of hospitalisation and force feeding of Ms Desmond.

Following the sentencing, Ms Desmond urged other victims of kid abuse to come forward.

She stated: “I believed I was squandering my time and she would get away with what she done to me, but the good news is I got some sort of justice. It is something.

” I would say to people to speak up.

” I was skinny and small and the simplest target.

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