Saturday 23 September 2017

Teacher jailed for sexually abusing young boy

Conor Gallagher

A TEACHER who groomed and sexually abused a boy and later gave him thousands of euro to help him get clean of heroin has been jailed.

John O'Donoghue (53), of The Gallops in Sandyford, Dublin, carried out the abuse on up to 20 occasions after pretending he wanted to wrestle with the 10-year-old boy.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring imposed a three-and-a-half-year sentence with the final 18 months suspended. She said O'Donoghue must have known what he was doing was wrong.

"Child abuse can have life-long effects and evidently (the victim) still suffers from the effects," Judge Ring said.

Judge Ring ordered that he be registered as a sex offender and undergo two years' post-release supervision.

ADDICTION

The sentencing hearing at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard the victim dropped out of school and developed a heroin addiction as a result of the abuse.

Twenty years later, he approached his abuser and asked for money for rehab. O'Donoghue ended up giving him €8,500, which he raised from the sale of his house.

The victim later went to gardai and O'Donoghue admitted everything.

He pleaded guilty to five sample counts of indecent assault at his previous home in south Dublin between January 1989 and December 1991.

O'Donoghue has been a teacher at St Tiernan's School in Sandyford for 30 years but is on suspension and does not believe he will retain his job.

Detective Garda Sean Allen told Fiona Murphy, prosecuting, that the boy used to visit the accused regularly to mow the lawn and O'Donoghue would wrestle with the boy as an excuse to grope him.

This gradually progressed to more serious abuse.

Irish Independent

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