Wednesday 26 July 2017

Health board 'failed raped boy'

Son's three-year ordeal at abuser's hands could have been prevented, court told

Edel Kennedy

THE systematic rape and sexual abuse of a boy by his father could have been prevented if a health board had been more proactive in protecting the child, a court has heard.

The comments were made as the now 20-year-old man read an emotional victim impact statement in which he said his childhood was stolen by his father and he could never forgive him.

He began to cry as he said his father had given him a "life sentence" and should be given a "life sentence behind bars" for what he had done.

The 52-year-old man was found guilty last month of 47 counts of rape and abuse in one of the most harrowing sex abuse cases in recent years.

During the trial, the young man described how he was raped by his father on an almost weekly basis from 2001, when he was just 12 years old, until 2004.

The man's sentencing has been put back until Friday. But Mr Justice Barry White has indicated that he will not give the rapist a life sentence.

During the sentence hearing yesterday, counsel for the guilty man pointed out that the sexual abuse started in 2001 when the boy was 12.

Care

That year, the local health board went to the district court to try to take the boy and his siblings into care.

"The health board had put a course of action in progress for putting the children into care," the court heard.

"The mother went to the High Court to stop the health board. . . It goes without saying that if the health board had pursued it, the offences would never have happened."

He said the failure to pursue the matter led to "this tragic result".

He said social services were involved with the family since 1989 but became "more seriously involved" in 1996.

The court heard that a psychiatric evaluation was carried out on the guilty man last month.

"It indicates that (he) does not suffer from any illness of psychosis of the mind at all," the court was told.

In evidence, the son told the court his father sexually abused him for the first time when he was 12 or 13.

"It was wrong," he said. "He was my father."

He said he would be abused three or four times a week and often told his father to stop but would be hit by him.

The prosecution said the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) believes the offences lie at the upper end of the scale because of the "systematic rape and abuse of a young boy by his father", the court heard.

The accused man -- who cannot be named to protect the identity of his children -- was found guilty after a nine-day trial of 11 charges of anal rape, 12 charges of oral rape and 24 charges of sexual assault of the boy between April 11, 2001 and June 23, 2004. He had denied all allegations.

Irish Independent

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