Friday 15 December 2017

Child allegedly raped by father and made to have sex with mother 'forgot to tell gardai and trial about his father locking him into a cage-like box' - court

The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin
The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin

Declan Brennan and Sonya McLean

A child who was allegedly raped by his father and made to have sex with his mother said he didn't previously tell gardai or the trial about his father locking him into a “cage” like box because he forgot.

The now 12-year-old has so far spent six days giving evidence via video-link at the Central Criminal Court about alleged abuse by his parents in their Waterford home.

He has alleged his father raped him, sexually abused him with a hot poker and forced him to have sex with his mother over the course of several years from when he was about six years old.

The father is alleged to have filmed some of these incidents and shown them to others. He is further alleged to have held a gun to the child's head and to have left him locked in a box.

The parents face a total of 82 charges of abuse between 2007 and 2011 in Waterford. The father and mother have pleaded not guilty to 16 counts each of sexual exploitation and one charge each of child cruelty.

The mother has also denied 16 counts of sexual assault while the father denies 16 counts of anal rape and 16 counts of sexual assault with a poker.

The complainant previously alleged that his father had locked him into a wooden box when he was six years old.

Today he told Colman Cody SC, defending, that he was locked into a second box because the first one “failed”. He said the second box had metal bars and was “cage like”.

“It was exactly the same (as the first box) except it had metal bars for a window. And it was a lot bigger than the last one,” he said.

He told gardai that his father had bought the first box at Woodies DIY store and that he had to assemble it. He said after it “failed” his father burned this first box.

He said the incidents with the two boxes happened on different days. He said it was dark inside the box and he was really scared. He said: “It felt like two days. I didn’t get anything to eat or drink.”

He said he thought his father nailed the box shut because he could hear “bang bang bang” on top. He told counsel that he didn't describe the allegation about the “cage box” to investigating gardai or in his evidence last week because he forgot.

“I forgot to mention about the second box,” he said. Asked why he replied: “Because I’m not perfect. I had something else on my mind”

He also described escaping from one of the boxes. He said his Dad put the keys for the box on a desk and left the shed, locking it behind him.

“Luckily the bars of the box were wide enough to put my arm through,” the boy said before he told the jury that he managed to pick a stick up from the floor, which he used to hook the key from the desk. He got the key and using his other hand he managed to unlock the lock.

He told Mr Cody that this took him about one and half minutes. He said it was a single key, an old fashioned type one with a ring which allowed him to use the stick to hook it.

He said once he managed to get out of the box, he was still in the shed because his father had locked it.

He said he remembered the box years later when he was watching a film which depicted an animal poacher locking a gorilla into a cage.

The trial continues with the boy's evidence on Thursday before Mr Justice Robert Eagar and a jury.

Online Editors

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