Saturday 18 November 2017

Brother and sister sue neighbour over alleged sexual attacks

A BROTHER and sister who claimed they were subjected to a series of sexual assaults at the hands of their next door neighbour and family friend have brought a High Court action for damages.

The now 24-year old man and 20-year old woman, the court heard, suffered post traumatic stress disorder as a result of the alleged assaults when they were still at primary school.

Mr Justice Michael Moriarty was told the girl was only seven years of age and the boy eleven years old when the abuse started in the late 90s and early 2000s. The judge ruled that the names of the victims or anything to identify them cannot be reported.

The action is undefended and is before the court for assessment of damages only.

The court heard that the brother and sister had made statements to the gardai a number of years ago, but the DPP had decided not to bring a prosecution.

The woman claimed that in the late 1990s to early 2000s the man took her for a trip in his car to an isolated field. It was claimed he carried the child over his shoulder to a wooded area and put a blanket on the ground before abusing her.

On another occasion, she claimed she was brought to a haybarn and when she began to cry, scream and hit him, he held her hands forcibly by her side and sexually assaulted her again.

The man claimed the sexual assaults occurred in the early 2000s when he used to cut his neighbour's grass. On once occasion after cutting the grass he claimed the man took him in to his house on the pretence of getting the money to pay him.

He claimed he was brought to a bedroom and told to take off his clothes. It is claimed the next door neighbour then kissed the boy and performed sexual acts on him. The sexual assaults, it is claimed, happened two or three times in his next door neighbours house and in other houses and in a car down a country lane.

It is claimed the boy suffered a very considerable trauma and the abuse has left a lasting and traumatic effect.

Consultant psychiatrist Dr Elizabeth Cryan said the abuse had come to light when the girl told her sister and then her mother when she was ten years of age. The parents, Dr Cryan said, were very supportive.

The next door neighbour, Dr Cryan said, had threatened the girl when she was seven years old if she told her father and mother, " they would think she was a dirty bitch".

In the boy's case Dr Cryan said it started when he was in sixth class.

It was, she said, very severe and repeated abuse at a number of different locations and occurred over a year or possibly longer. He only told his parents when he was 16 years old when it all came back to him.

The case before Mr Justice Michael Moriarty continues.

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