An Irish woman who was repeatedly raped and sexually abused by a man in her church choir in the 1970s, was awarded $5 million (€4 million) in damages by a High Court jury.

Jacqueline O'Toole, 55, from Pearse Street, Dublin 2 took the case against Joseph Carrick from Carysfort Woods, Blackrock, Co Dublin, who was described in court as an "evil paedophile" who preyed on children.

Carrick, now 72, did not contest the actions taken against him and was not present in court during the trial. The accused was a member of a church choir at City Quay and often gave young girls a lift home, RTE reports.

The court heard how while she was between the ages of 13 and 15, Carrick took O'Toole to his office in Eden Quay and locked the door before raping and sexually abusing her.

O’Toole told the jury that as a result of the repeated rapes she fell pregnant and gave birth to a baby girl who was taken from her hours after delivery and was given up for adoption. The victim said the attacks occurred about twice a month and that she was terrified of O’Toole.

When O’Toole fell pregnant at the age of 15, Carrick stopped abusing her.

She hid her pregnancy from her family before she was admitted to hospital with suspected appendicitis, before doctors realized she was in labor.

She gave birth to a baby girl, whom was taken from her within hours of delivery. Choking back tears she told the court she often thinks about her daughter and wonders if she could be passing her on the street.

In a separate action on Tuesday, Geraldine Nolan, who is Ms O’Toole's cousin, was awarded $897,000 (€700,000) for rape and sexual assault by the same man.

Attorney Richard Lyons SC for the women, who had been friends since childhood, said they were "systematically raped and dominated by this monster".

He added: Carrick was an "evil paedophile”.