Sunday 11 December 2016

Boy (7) was suicidal after father raped and locked him in a box

Conor Gallagher

Published 24/09/2016 | 02:30

The Central Criminal Court heard a summary of what the prosecution called a “catalogue of horrors” which took place over a two-year period in the family home in Waterford. (Stock photo)
The Central Criminal Court heard a summary of what the prosecution called a “catalogue of horrors” which took place over a two-year period in the family home in Waterford. (Stock photo)

A boy who was repeatedly raped by his father and locked in a box wanted to take his own life at the age of seven because of the abuse, a court has heard.

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The Central Criminal Court heard a summary of what the prosecution called a "catalogue of horrors" which took place over a two-year period in the family home in Waterford.

Mr Justice Robert Eager remanded the father in continuing custody until October 10 when he will finalise sentence. The man's partner, who was convicted on the sole count of child cruelty, will be sentenced on October 17.

In a victim impact statement read to the court, the now 13-year-old boy wrote that "when I lived with my mam and dad I wanted to dispose myself of this world, I wanted to commit suicide".

It wasn't until he was taken into foster care that his childhood started, he wrote.

The boy is currently in specialised care in the UK. He wrote that when he first arrived he asked to be called by a different name because of fear his father would find him.

He referred to his father as "Adolf Hitler" and said he wanted to "run him over with a combine harvester".

"Words have not even been invented yet for what my dad has done to me," he wrote.

"I want to say au revoir to my memories. I would like my dad never to leave prison. I am happy when he is in prison."

He said he wants to return to Ireland to become a police officer and write a book about his life. He would like to meet his father in the future to ask him why he abused him.

A jury convicted the 64-year-old father, who is from the UK, of nine counts of raping his son from the age of six years old and one count of child cruelty. He was acquitted of raping the child with a poker.

His 38-year-old partner, who is also from the UK, was convicted of child cruelty. She was found not guilty of sex assault relating to allegations she had sex or simulated sex with her child when he was between six and seven.

Both parents had pleaded not guilty to the offences which occurred between 2009 and 2011 in their home. The parents had originally faced a total of 82 charges but 60 of these were withdrawn.

In a previous victim impact report relating to his mother, the child said he doesn't believe she did anything wrong.

Kind

The boy called his mother a "kind woman" who he felt sorry for - but wished that she had taken him away or placed him in care when the abuse started.

The boy described one occasion where his father was assembling a wooden box. He asked his father what it was for and the father replied "it's for you" before pushing him in. The boy was in there for three or four hours before his mother released him.

The defence submitted this comprised the child cruelty charge. However, the prosecution contended the charge encompassed a wider "catalogue of horror" including showing the boy pornographic material.

Defence counsel Colman Cody SC said his client intends to appeal the conviction and does not agree with the jury's verdict.

Irish Independent

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