Sunday 25 August 2019

Former Christian Brother (72) jailed for two years for child sex assaults

No remorse: John Gibson
No remorse: John Gibson

Declan Brennan and Sonya McLean

A former Christian Brother teacher has been jailed for two years for sexual assaults on two children in the 1980s.

A judge ruled against the State's application to stop the media naming John Gibson (72).

The first victim was abused during the summer of 1983 when Gibson recruited her to do some work in the school.

After the day's work was done he insisted she wash before going home and molested her.

Two years later, Gibson asked the second victim, a boy, to grease the goalposts on playing fields. He again insisted the boy clean up after the work and molested the boy in the shower block.

Gibson, of Dún Laoghaire, Dublin, had denied three charges of indecent assault. He was found guilty of all counts by a jury following a trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court in February.

During the trial, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) sought an order from Judge Elma Sheahan to prevent the media from naming Gibson or even reporting any of the detail of the case, on the basis there may be upcoming trials.

Lawyers on behalf of the publishers of the Irish Independent, the 'Irish Times', and the 'Irish Daily Mirror' newspapers subsequently made an application to have the reporting restrictions lifted and to allow normal reporting.

The DPP did not make any submissions against the application and the court heard there are no other charges against Gibson before any court. Judge Sheahan ruled then that there were no compelling arguments to restrict reporting.

Sentencing him yesterday, Judge Sheahan said his behaviour had "profound and long-lasting consequences" on the victims. She said he abused his position of authority and carried out the attacks in a pre-meditated way.

She said he did not acknowledge his wrongdoing or the verdict, and had shown no remorse.

She noted the defence submissions that Gibson was in ill health. She imposed one-year sentences for each assault, to run consecutively.

Irish Independent

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