Saturday 23 March 2019

Ex-teacher guilty of historic sex assaults on children

Facing sentence: John Gibson (71) had denied the charges. Picture: Collins
Facing sentence: John Gibson (71) had denied the charges. Picture: Collins

Declan Brennan and Sonya McLean

A former Christian Brothers teacher has been convicted of sexually assaulting two children in the 1980s.

John Gibson (71), of Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin, had pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to two charges of indecent assault against a 12-year-old girl at a Christian Brothers School in Co Wexford, in the 1980s.

He also denied indecent assault of a boy when the complainant was 12.

During a trial, the complainants said Gibson had molested them while washing them after they had carried out manual work around the school.

Yesterday, the jury returned majority guilty verdicts on all three charges after spending just over four hours deliberating.

Judge Elma Sheahan remanded Gibson on continuing bail until his sentence hearing on March 19.

She further ordered victim impact reports for that date.

A woman, now in her 40s, told prosecuting counsel that during her school summer holidays, Gibson asked her to paint a wall in the school.

He told her to change into clothes he gave her and she said "he specifically told me to take my underwear off".

After the painting was done, the defendant told her she would have to clean up.

She said he returned with a basin of water, face cloth and soap and told her to get undressed.

He began washing her around her private parts.

The man told the trial that in the summer in the 1980s, he agreed to help Gibson "grease the goalposts" in the school sports field.

This involved applying grease to stop children climbing on to the posts.

After doing this, Gibson told the complainant to go into a shower area and strip off, the man said.

He said Gibson came into the shower room with a bottle of washing up liquid, which he used to wash the boy around his intimate areas.

The witness told the trial he closed his eyes and hoped it would end.

Irish Independent

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