Saturday 19 August 2017

Convicted paedophile puts home up for sale to pay €100k damages to sexually abused nephew

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Ray Managh

Convicted paedophile John O’Neill has put his Lucan home up for sale after having been told by a judge it would have to be sold to pay the €100,000 damages awarded to the nephew he sexually abused when the child was six.

O’Neill has commissioned Lucan auctioneer PJ Garvey to sell the house at 86 Sarsfield Park, Lucan, “by private treaty” which means the price will be negotiated in secret between O’Neill and any prospective purchaser.

The auctioneer has put an asking price on the four-bed house at €285,000 and has posted 20 pictures of the property on the auctioneer’s official website.

Judge Jacqueline Linnane in the Circuit Civil Court last Thursday directed sale of No 86 to pay Keith Battersby’s €100,000 compensation awarded to him in July 2012 by the then High Court President Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns.

The award, together with High Court and Circuit Court legal costs and expenses of sale, will amount to about €250,000 and wipe out practically all of any agreed sale price.

Judge Linnane stated last week that O’Neill, now a 51-year-old jobless law student, had waited long enough to repay Mr Battersby (40) of Coill Fada, Longwood, Co Meath.  She heard he had previously been making sporadic and irregular payments which amounted to only €6,630 over the last four years or little more than €30 a week.

Peter Boylan, a solicitor with Pearse Mehigan Solicitors who are representing Mr Battersby’s interests, today returned to court to seek directions with regard to the sale being handled under the personal directions of O’Neill.

Judge Linnane said she had made her order for the sale of the house and had no further function in directing completion of arrangements.

Mr Battersby in 2012 sued his uncle who, he claimed, had committed 12 sexual assaults on him between 1982 and 1984 in O’Neill’s home and in the projection room of the Grove Cinema in Lucan where O’Neill worked.

O’Neill pleaded guilty at Dubloin Circuit Criminal Court to sexually assaulting his nephew and was given a two year suspended sentence.  He did not defend his nephew’s claim for damages in 2012.

Following O’Neill’s conviction in 2010 Mr Battersby had described his uncle as: “A monster who stole my childhood.”

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