Salesman gets three years for child abuse
A WELL-KNOWN sporting goods salesman was jailed for three years yesterday after pleading guilty to 12 counts of indecently assaulting a boy in the 1980s.
Mark Byrne (48), of The Bower, Elm Park, Clarina, Limerick, admitted inflicting numerous sexual acts on the boy over a five-year period, from when the boy was aged seven.
The victim, now in his 30s and who cannot be named for legal reasons, said in a victim-impact statement that he had "thought about what had happened every day" since the abuse and "suffered anxiety and sleepless nights".
Limerick Circuit Court heard that Byrne had worked in various sports shops around Limerick for the past 20 years.
Byrne began the abuse when he was 19, while babysitting the boy.
The court heard that Byrne had since lost his job, had suicidal thoughts and that "his reputation was in tatters".
Judge Carroll Moran told the court that the evidence in the case was "fairly gross", adding that the trauma suffered by the boy "must have been very severe".