'He's not human. He's a sicko' - ex-wife of man who repeatedly raped daughters wants him locked up for life
Published 29/03/2016 | 07:57
A petition to have a prolific paedophile who fathered a child with his daughter locked up for life has been launched by his ex-wife.
Debbie Johnston (50) says her family has been destroyed by sick child rapist Alan 'Herbie' Curragh and she'll continue campaigning until the laws change so he'll never be set free.
The mother-of-two has launched a petition on change.org called 'Brodie's Law' and is urging the public to support it to ensure that prolific sex offenders are not able to abuse again.
Brodie was born through Curragh's incest with one of his two daughters, both of whom he abused and terrorised for 20 years.
The little boy suffered from a serious genetic disorder because of the incest and died in agony aged just six years old.
Ms Johnston said Curragh "should have been given life".
"There's no words, really, to properly describe what he did. He's an alien, he's not human. He's a sicko.
"He sat in that court day in, day out, leaving exactly as he came in - there was no remorse whatsoever. Not a 'sorry', no tears, nothing.
"He just sat there as if he couldn't have cared less.
"It was the same when the sentence was passed, no reaction, but I sat there knowing that I would get justice for Brodie.
"That's what this is all about - getting justice for Brodie and having him acknowledged."
Debbie added: "He handed him a death sentence and never once did he admit he had fathered him or feel any remorse for it."
Curragh (53), a carpet fitter from Ballybeen in east Belfast, initially pleaded not guilty to the persistent and sustained rape of his daughters Cathy (32) and Emma (26), who were subject to his humiliating and depraved acts for years.
He would scare one of them into submission by putting a gun in her mouth and threatening to kill their mother, then her, if she reported him to police.
Although both women were legally entitled to remain anonymous, both bravely chose to waive that right to expose the full horror of the man they once called dad.
After an initial trial the predator was set free to continue to abuse after a jury failed to reach a decision, but was finally convicted when a DNA test conducted on Brodie proved that he had fathered the boy.
"He denied everything," Ms Johnston said.
"He even asked that the DNA test, which proved 99.9% that Brodie was his son, was redone, but in America, but the court didn't allow it, there was no need."
Jailed in 2012, Curragh was handed an eight-year sentence, but won an appeal meaning that he could be freed as early as 2018.
Little Brodie was born in 2006 and was diagnosed with metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD) - an extremely rare genetic disorder where most sufferers do not live beyond their fifth birthday.
Eventually blind, immobile, fed through a tube and in constant pain, towards the end of his life Brodie suffered multiple spasms every day and relied completely on Debbie and current husband William for round-the-clock care.
Throughout his short life, Ms Johnston, who adopted him from birth and raised him as her own son, was completely unaware he was the product of incest until tests confirmed MLD, a condition prevalent in the Third World in incestuous relationships.
Brodie died aged six on November 18, 2012, just two weeks before Curragh was jailed.
Ms Johnston is asking Prime Minister David Cameron and the Northern Ireland Executive to impose a life sentence where incest has been committed to reflect the suffering of the innocent children born out of the crime.
She said: "The UK and Northern Ireland Sexual Offences Act needs strengthened so that sentences handed down to predators like Alan Curragh reflect the devastation he and others inflict on so many lives. Brodie did not ask to be born, and no other child deserves to go through what he went through.
"No one should have to go through this.
"No one should have to bury their own child, watch them suffering through no fault of their own.
"I haven't grieved properly for him, but I am doing this for him and for all the victims of sexual abuse.
"These paedophiles ruin lives. My mother never got over the shock of it, my daughters are trying to get their lives back, but the law needs to change so paedophiles are locked up for life.
"They should never be free, to be let out to keep abusing people and ruining people's lives."
Ms Johnson says her grief over Brodie's sad demise was still very raw and although she visited his grave at Roselawn every day, she coped by convincing herself that he was away visiting the hospice where he had respite care a few times a year.
"I miss his wee smile," she added.
"He loved to give you hugs and kisses and his favourite word was 'mum'.
"I tell myself that he hasn't gone, he's coming back.
"I've kept his room the same for him."
She added: "Brodie was honestly the most loveable child. Don't get me wrong, he loved getting up to mischief as well and would have been the first to get in it.
"He loved Mickey Mouse and Pinocchio, especially Guiseppe, and he loved going to the beach - I think we took him to every beach in England.
"We took him to Disneyland in Paris after a kind stranger paid for it and he loved it.
"He turned his nose up at Minnie Mouse, we never knew why, but he loved Mickey - we bought him virtually everything in the shop that time, and he loved animals, he loved visiting the zoo.
"I remember his last words were 'yellow tractor'. We'd taken him out and he spotted one and those were the last two words he ever said.
"He couldn't go anywhere without machines.
"Me and his dad William would massage his wee legs, rub his shoulders to try and ease his pains and help him sleep.
"It was heartbreaking to watch, but this petition is for him. He was never acknowledged or his suffering or the death sentence that was placed on him.
"I want it to bring closure for him and justice, and for all the other innocent victims out there."