Wednesday 22 November 2017

Boxing coach is jailed for raping 'future world champ'

Frank Mulligan outside the
Central Criminal Court in
Dublin at an earlier hearing
Frank Mulligan outside the Central Criminal Court in Dublin at an earlier hearing

Ben Haugh and Conor Gallagher

A PAEDOPHILE boxing coach told his young victim he could be the next world champion -- but only if he submitted to the abuse which followed.

Frank Mulligan (66) was jailed yesterday for six years for grooming and raping a teenage boy he trained.

Mulligan is already serving two lengthy sentences for the buggery and sexual abuse of seven other young boys over a 13-year period.

Mulligan groomed and encouraged the young boxer while coaching him, praising him as "the next white hope" and said he would be "the next world champion".

The Central Criminal Court heard that Mulligan gave the boy massages and told him if he wanted to be a great boxer he would have to go along with the abuse which followed.

Mr Justice Paul Carney yesterday said he was sure Mulligan would reoffend if he got the opportunity.

But the judge added he could not take this into account when sentencing because it would be overturned in the Court of Criminal Appeal.

Mulligan was one of the country's leading boxing coaches, training world champion Barry McGuigan early in his career.

Yesterday, Mr Justice Carney said he took into account the gravity of the offences and their effect on the victim.

He ordered that Mulligan have no contact with the victim or have anything to do with sports clubs on his release. He sentenced him to eight years in prison, with the final two suspended. He further ordered that he undergo 18 months post-release supervision.

Mulligan admitted two counts of rape of a teenage boy between February and March, 1998.

After training sessions the boxing coach would bring the young boy back to his home where he raped him on two occasions.

On the second occasion the young boy "freaked out" and struggled against Mulligan to get free. He was then given about IR£80 to buy clothes.

On another occasion, Mulligan brought the boy to a graveyard where they prayed at a woman's grave. He then told the boy to undress so he could be "purified", before abusing him. All of his previous victims were connected with the boxing gym and followed a similar pattern of abuse and grooming.

The latest victim, who is now a grown man with a son of his own, said the abuse had had a "devastating effect" on his life.

He fought back tears as he read from a victim impact statement, and broke down crying a number of times.

He said he struggled with feelings of shame, guilt and anger as well as suffering from flashbacks and nightmares.

The court heard that he had become dependent on alcohol to help cope with the aftermath of the abuse, and had considered suicide.

Betrayal

The court heard that Mulligan, of Mulladuff, Smithboro, Co Monaghan, wanted to apologise to his victim.

Mulligan is currently serving a six-and-a-half year sentence for the buggery and sexual assault of five other teenage boys over a 13-year period.

In 2008, he was jailed for seven years for the sexual abuse of two other boys under similar circumstances.

Mulligan released a book entitled 'Me and McGuigan -- The Making of a Champion', shortly after Mr McGuigan won the world featherweight title in 1985.

Speaking after an earlier conviction for Mulligan, Mr McGuigan said he was sickened by the Co Monaghan paedophile's "betrayal" of the victims and their families.

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News