A woman, who was repeatedly raped and sexually assaulted by a man in her church choir in the 1970s, has been awarded damages of €4m by a High Court jury.

It is the highest award of its kind.

Joseph Carrick, from Carysfort Woods, Blackrock, Co Dublin, was described in court as an "evil paedophile" who preyed on children.

Carrick, who is now in his 70s, did not defend the case taken by Jacqueline O'Toole, 55, from Pearse Street, Dublin 2.

In a separate related case yesterday, another woman, Geraldine Nolan, from Townsend Street, Dublin 2, was awarded €700,000 for rape and sexual assault by the same man.

Today, Ms O'Toole was awarded €2.5m in general and aggravated damages, and €1.5m in exemplary damages.

She had told the jury that as a result of the rape she gave birth to a baby girl who was taken from her within hours and given up for adoption.

The court was told Carrick was a member of the church choir at City Quay and would offer young girls a lift home.

Ms O’Toole told how between the age of 13 and 15 he took her to his office on Eden Quay, locked her in, and raped and sexually assaulted her.

She said she was terrified of him, and the abuse occurred about twice a month.

She said the rapes stopped when at 15 she became pregnant.

Carrick told her not to mention his name, and never spoke to her again.

The victim said she hid her pregnancy from her family and was admitted to hospital with suspected appendicitis when, in fact, she was in labour.

Ms O’Toole was transferred to the Coombe Hospital and gave birth to a baby girl who was taken from her within hours and she never saw her again.

She sobbed in the witness box as she said she constantly thinks about her daughter and wonders if she could be passing her by in the street.

Geraldine Nolan, who is Ms O’Toole's cousin, was yesterday awarded €700,000 by a separate jury.

She told the court that Carrick assaulted and raped her from the age of 12 at his home and at the same office.

Ms Nolan left the choir to get away from him, but he continued to stop her on the street.

She said the abuse stopped when she was 15 and she was able to say no.

Richard Lyons, Senior Counsel for the women, described Carrick as an evil paedophile who preyed on children, subjecting Ms O’Toole to systematic and brutal rapes in his office.

He said her evidence was heartbreaking, compelling and very disturbing.

After just over an hour of deliberation, the jury found she had been raped and assaulted and awarded damages.

Yesterday, he described the assaults on Ms Nolan as "horrendous" and "monstrous".

Asking the jury to award aggravated and exemplary damages in the case of Ms O'Toole, he said the jury would have to put a price on the loss of her early years.

The High Court granted a temporary injunction freezing the bank accounts of Carrick to prevent dissipation of assets.

The case returns to the High Court on Friday. The court was told Carrick has a large number of properties, bank accounts and pensions.