Four lives were shattered by 'evil and twisted man'
FOUR people's lives have been shattered by the abuse suffered in childhood at the hands of 'an evil and twisted man'.
John Honan's 10-year reign of terror over four Kerry children between 1989 and 1999 laid the foundation for adult lives plagued by fear, mistrust and anxiety, Tralee Circuit Court heard at the man's sentencing hearing on Thursday.
Harrowing victim impact statements from all four survivors, who are now adults, put the effects of Honan's abuse in stark relief and outlined how it strangled their hopes of establishing healthy adult lives until now. However, speaking to The Kerryman on Thursday after Judge Ray Fullam jailed Honan for four-and-a-half years, one of the male victims said that all four survivors now feel as if they can finally move on with their lives.
"I was sexually abused by John Honan, a man I trusted very much. That was until I got older and realised that he had taken away my childhood and taken away my innocence," he said in his victim impact statement.
"He destroyed a part of me I will never be able to get back and will never be able to get over. I get flashbacks every day of what I went through. It's rare that I go a day without thinking about it. I still get nightmares and wake up distraught. I cannot go into public toilets to this day if there is another man in there as I suffer thoughts of John Honan creeping up behind me."
"I didn't deserve to have a happy childhood stolen from me," he stated.
One of the female survivors outlined in her victim impact statement how she suffers from bouts of depression and finds herself over-protective as a mother, fearing what happened to her could happen her child.
The fact that John Honan denied his guilt and forced his victims to endure a trial in which the truth of their evidence was challenged by the defence team made matters even worse, she said. "It forced me to relive the pain and hurt that was compounded by having to go through the trial."
The other male victim said: "I believe John Honan is an evil and twisted man and deserves whatever he gets, [the location where the abuse took place] is a safer place without him.'
"John Honan convinced me that what I was doing was normal and everyone was doing it," the other female survivor of the abuse stated. "It took me years to trust people. Pleading not guilty forced us to relive the abuse. John Honan abused me and still affects my life in adulthood," her statement said.