Sunday 17 December 2017

Dublin man goes on trial over act of gross indecency alleged to have happened 30 years ago

Fiona Ferguson

A Dublin man has gone on trial at the Central Criminal Court accused of an act of "gross indecency" with his nephew over thirty years ago.

The accused man, who can not be identified for legal reasons, has pleaded not guilty to gross indecency at his home on a date between June and September 1978. His nephew was aged between 15 and 16 years old at the time.

The now 50-year-old complainant told Isobel Kennedy SC, prosecuting, that he was visiting relatives for a period in 1978 when he and his uncle went to the accused’s home on an errand.

He said his uncle went up to a front bedroom, lay on the bed and gestured him to come over.

The man said he climbed up and sat on the accused man’s chest. He said he could not remember if his uncle undid his fly but remembered that the accused started masturbating him and put his penis into his mouth.

He said it lasted a very short time and he felt disgusted. Afterwards they returned to his grandmother’s house. He said the accused man said nothing to him in the car.

The man told Hugh Hartnett SC, defending, during cross examination, that he could not remember who had unbuttoned his fly. He said: “I was trying to distance myself from it, mentally.”

He later told Mr Hartnett he doubted he had unbuttoned his fly but agreed his memory was vague and he could not remember.

Mr Hartnett asked him if he was consenting to all of this and the man replied “Well, I did not say yes, I did not say no.” Counsel asked if he was saying he did not want it to happen and the man replied “In hindsight yes.”

He agreed with Mr Hartnett he had made allegations that he had been sexually abused by another family member, now deceased.

The witness said he used to stay in his grandparents house during the 1980’s but did not remember sharing a room with the accused.

He agreed he had been friendly with the accused in 1980’s and 1990’s and had written to him.

Mr Hartnett put to him that what he had said was untrue and incorrect and the man replied “no.”

During re-examination the complainant told Ms Kennedy that the allegations he had made about his other late relative and a further man were true.

The trial continues before Ms Justice Iseult O’Malley and a jury of three women and nine men.

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