Tuesday 16 July 2019

Child rapist who previously failed to show for sentencing is jailed

Anthony Moynihan (54), of Rostellan, Midleton, Co Cork. Photo: Collins Courts
Anthony Moynihan (54), of Rostellan, Midleton, Co Cork. Photo: Collins Courts

Sonya McLean and Jessica Magee

A CORKMAN who was sentenced in his absence last week to seven years in prison for raping and sexually assaulting an 11-year-old boy over a period of two years has been jailed.

Anthony Moynihan (54) of Croccane, Rostellan, Midleton was sentenced in his absence after he failed to appear at the Central Criminal Court last Friday.

On Monday Mr Justice Michael White sent Moynihan to prison after he was brought into court following the execution of a warrant which had been issued last Friday.

During the sentencing last week, Mr Justice White condemned the “brutal” abuse inflicted on the victim, 23-year-old Dylan Higgins, who previously waived his right to anonymity so that Moynihan could be named.

At an earlier hearing, Mr Higgins read his own victim impact statement aloud in court and urged other abuse victims to come forward as “it may save lives”.

Mr Justice White paid tribute to Mr Higgins for his “tremendous courage” in reporting the abuse, giving his statement to gardaí and delivering a “very moving” statement in court outlining the severe impact the abuse had had on him.

Dylan Higgins (23), outside court after the case. The 23-year-old Cork man, who waived his right to anonymity. Photo: Collins Courts
Dylan Higgins (23), outside court after the case. The 23-year-old Cork man, who waived his right to anonymity. Photo: Collins Courts

The court heard Mr Higgins had attempted suicide twice and was greatly saddened that his mother had passed away in 2016 before he could disclose the crimes to her.

Mr Higgins concluded his victim impact statement saying, “I urge people who were abused to come forward, it may save lives.” He added that he now wanted to get on with his life because he had “carried this for too long”.

Moynihan pleaded guilty to two charges of rape and two counts of sexually assaulting Mr Higgins on dates between September 9, 2006 and June 27, 2008.

The court heard that Mr Higgins, who was aged 11 and 12 at the time, called three times to Moynihan's home because he knew the man would give him cigarettes. After the first incident of rape, Mr Higgins discarded his underwear as it was blood-stained and he didn't want anyone to find out about the rape.

The second incident of rape took place when he returned to Moynihan's home a number of months later and the man asked the boy if he would have sex with him. Mr Higgins refused and complained that he had been left bleeding the last time Moynihan raped him.

The man then brought the boy into the bathroom on the pretence of applying cream but instead raped him.

Moynihan has three previous convictions for sexually assaulting two young girls in 2008 and 2009 for which he received a suspended sentence. Again, these girls had gone to Moynihan's home together on the understanding that he would give them cigarettes.

Mr Justice White said Moynihan’s guilty plea was very important as he had made full admissions to gardaí early on. He said another mitigating factor was that Moynihan was suffering from throat cancer.

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