Cora Desmond has spoken out about the years of abuse she suffered
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A woman who was brutally beaten and forced to eat vinegar and raw spices by her step-mum has said she spoke out in a bid to help others.
Cora Desmond was told by Bridget Kenneally, 49, from Duncoran, Youghal, County Cork, Ireland, that she was like the abused Disney princess Cinderella because she was 'not wanted or loved'.
Dubbed 'Cora Ella' by her step-mum, the young woman was forced to clean up after Kenneally and her children CorkBeo reports.
She was treated like a 'punching bag' and was regularly beaten.
Kenneally even forced Ms Desmond to eat a cocktail of hot spices and condiment.
Now the part time cleaner has been jailed for two years having made multiple attacks on Ms Desmond, now 21, with pokers, belts and spatulas, police said.
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The victim said she hoped speaking out would 'help others'.
"I will never forgive her for what she did but I got some justice and she is locked up," she told The Sun.
“I know there are people out there going through awful things probably even worse than what I endured.
“But if I can help one person by speaking out, then it is something."
Ms Desmond urged people being abused to come forward, even if they thought no one would listen to them.
Her father was unaware of the abuse she had suffered until gardai contacted him, Ms Desmond said, prompting him to end the relationship.
Kenneally pleaded guilty to one count of assault against Ms Desmond between October 1 and October 31 2009.
Ms Desmond gave a powerful victim impact statement at a sentencing hearing in Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
She detailed the abuse which occurred at the hands of Kenneally from when she was six to the age of sixteen.
The victim told Judge Sean O'Donnabhain that when she was five her father, who had full custody of her, entered in to a relationship with Kenneally.
Initially her new step-mum seemed "nice and caring" but this honeymoon period didn't last long.
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Ms Desmond said: "About six months in to the 11-year relationship the horrific abuse began with a few slaps and punches but then gradually got worse.
"Throughout the years it became clear to me that I was nothing but a punching bag to Bridget.
"Her children could go hang out with friends of their choosing.
"My sister and myself were refused daily of the same freedom.
"Instead we were confined to her residence to clean up after her and her children.
"Bridget gave me the name Cora Ella and told me I was just like Cinderella because I was the one who was not wanted or loved."
For 11 years Ms Desmond said she lived a double life, feeling trapped at home waiting for the next beating or punishment.
In school she said she was “happy, free and bubbly", but that confidence began to disappear as the years went by.
She added: "For eleven years she told me no one would believe me if I spoke out regarding the vile, sadistic, physical and mental torture she subjected me to.
"I was made to lie about my injuries and tell people I was just a clumsy child.
"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 it actually snapped the bone."
On another occasion Ms Desmond ended up in hospital having been struck on her head.
The step-mum made her tell doctors she had hit it herself.
The supermarket worker, who says she is extremely grateful to gardai for the sensitivity shown to her in the lead up to the case, said that her childhood involved mental and physical torture.
Ms Desmond was afraid to reveal the abuse as Kenneally told her she would be split from her sibling.
Concerns were raised over the years by a principal of a school she attended, amongst others.
On one occasion a GP found 50 bruises on her body.
Ms Kenneally was interviewed informally in 2016 and was arrested in 2017 after a complaint had been made against her.
She made no admissions to gardai but eventually entered a guilty plea in the case.
Sgt Ward said that the plea was of assistance to the court given that a trial would have involved 14 witnesses.
Barrister Patrick O'Riordan, who was representing Ms Kenneally, said that his client had entered a guilty plea and had paid €5,000 in compensation. He said she was a woman without previous convictions.
The step-mum was sentenced at Cork Circuit Criminal Court
The junior counsel told the court that Kenneally had six children in her care at the time of the offences and was experiencing difficulty coping.
He said his client had "a protracted pyschiatric history" and wanted to apologise to the victim in the case.
Judge Sean O'Donnabhain asked the victim if she felt the apology was genuine. She said she didn't believe that Kenneally was remorseful for her actions.
Having read the psychologists reports Judge O'Donnabhain said Kenneally seemed to blame everyone but herself for her actions.
Judge O'Donnabhain said having taken the entirety of the abuse in to consideration a custodial sentence was warranted.
He said: "This was a case of continued brutality. This was systemic abuse and cruelty.
"She (Ms Desmond) was deprived of a childhood because of the pain and misery she was subjected to."
Judge O'Donnabhain jailed Kenneally for two years saying that he was horrified by the tale of hospitalisation and force feeding of the victim.
Following the sentencing Cora Desmond urged other victims of child abuse to come forward.
She said: "I thought I was wasting my time and she would get away with what she done to me but thankfully I got some sort of justice.
"It is something. I would say to people to speak up. Don't be afraid to tell someone.
"Tell someone and get out of the situation sooner rather than later.
"I was six when it started and sixteen when it finished.
"I was skinny and small and the easiest target. It is over. I am out of it and living my life."