'Cinderella girl' brutally beaten by step-mum urges other victims to get help

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'Cinderella girl' brutally beaten by step-mum urges other victims to get help

A woman who was brutally beaten and forced to eat vinegar and raw spices by her stepmother said she spoke out to help others.

Cora Desmond was told by Bridget Kenneally, 49, of Duncoran, Youghal, County Cork, Ireland that she was like the abused Disney princess Cinderella because she was “not wanted or loved.”

The young woman, named ‘Cora Ella’ by her stepmother, had to clean up after Kenneally and her children CorkBeo Reports.

She was treated like a punching bag and beaten regularly.

Kenneally even made Ms. Desmond eat a hot spice and spice cocktail.

The part-time cleaner has now been detained for two years after repeatedly attacking Ms. Desmond, now 21, with a poker, belt and spatula, police said.

The victim said she hoped that saying it would “help others”.

“I will never forgive her for what she did, but I have some justice and she’s locked up,” she said The sun.

“I know there are people who go through horrible things that are probably worse than what I endured.

“But if I can help a person by speaking out, it’s something.”

Ms. Desmond urged the people who were abused to come forward, even if they thought no one was listening to them.

Her father was unaware of the abuse she had suffered until Gardai contacted him, Ms. Desmond said, urging him to end the relationship.

Kenneally pleaded guilty to assaulting Ms. Desmond between October 1 and October 31, 2009.

Ms. Desmond made a meaningful statement of the victim’s implications at a trial in the Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

She described the abuse that Kenneally committed between the ages of six and sixteen.

The victim told Judge Sean O’Donnabhain that her father, who had custody of her, started a relationship with Kenneally when she was five.

At first, her new stepmother seemed “kind and caring”, but this honeymoon didn’t last long.

'Cinderella girl' brutally beaten by step-mum urges other victims to get help 1

Ms. Desmond said, “About six months after the 11 year old relationship began, the horrific abuse started with a few beating and beating, but then gradually got worse.

“Over the years I realized that I was nothing more than a punching bag to Bridget.

“Your kids could hang out with friends of their choice.

“My sister and I were denied the same freedom every day.

“Instead, we were confined to her home to clean up after her and her children.

“Bridget named me Cora Ella and told me I was like Cinderella because I was the one who wasn’t wanted or loved.”

Ms. Desmond said for 11 years she had led a double life and felt trapped at home waiting for the next beating or punishment.

At school she said she was “happy, free, and bubbly,” but that trust faded over the years.

She added, “For eleven years she told me that no one would believe me if I spoke about the hideous, sadistic, physical and mental torture she subjected me.

“I had to lie about my injuries and tell people that I was just a clumsy kid.

“One of the many lies I had to tell was how I broke my thumb. The real truth is, she broke it.

“She twisted my hand so much that she actually tore the bone.”

On another occasion, Ms. Desmond ended up in the hospital after beating herself on the head.

The stepmother made her tell the doctors that she hit it herself.

The supermarket worker, who says she is very grateful to Gardai for the sensitivity shown in the run-up to the case, said her childhood included mental and physical torture.

Ms. Desmond was afraid to expose the abuse when Kenneally told her that she would be separated from her sibling.

Concerns have been raised over the years by a headmaster at a school she attended, among others.

Once a general practitioner found 50 bruises on her body.

Ms. Kenneally was informally interviewed in 2016 and arrested in 2017 after a complaint was filed against her.

She did not admit to Gardai, but eventually entered a guilty plea.

Sgt Ward said the plea helped the court as 14 witnesses were involved in one trial.

Attorney Patrick O’Riordan, who represented Ms. Kenneally, said his client was guilty and paid € 5,000 in damages. He said she was a woman with no prior conviction.

'Cinderella girl' brutally beaten by step-mum urges other victims to get help 2

The Junior Counsel informed the court that Kenneally had six children in her care at the time of the offenses and was having difficulty dealing with them.

He said his client had “a lengthy psychiatric history” and wanted to apologize to the victim in the case.

Judge Sean O’Donnabhain asked the victim if she thought the apology was real. She said she doesn’t think Kenneally is remorseful for her actions.

After Judge O’Donnabhain read the psychologists’ reports, he said Kenneally seemed to hold everyone but himself responsible for their actions.

Judge O’Donnabhain said it was justified to consider all of the abuse in order to consider imprisonment.

He said, “This was a case of ongoing brutality. This was systematic abuse and cruelty.

“She (Mrs. Desmond) has been deprived of her childhood because of the pain and misery she has been subjected to.”

Judge O’Donnabhain imprisoned Kenneally for two years and said he was appalled by the story of the victim’s hospitalization and force-feeding.

Following the conviction, Cora Desmond urged other child abuse victims to come forward.

She said, “I thought I was wasting my time and she was going to get away with what she did to me, but luckily I got some kind of justice.

“It’s something. I would tell people to get in touch. Don’t be afraid to tell anyone.

“Tell someone and get out sooner rather than later.

“I was six when it started and sixteen when it ended.

“I was thin and small and the easiest goal. It’s over. I’m out and live my life.”

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