Sunday 21 January 2018

Guardian didn't believe boy when he retracted claims he was sexually abused by parents

Central Criminal Court
Central Criminal Court

Conor Gallagher

The guardian appointed to act for a child who claims he was sexually abused by his parents has said she doesn't believe the boy was telling the truth when he retracted the allegations.

The prosecution has now finished presenting its case following six weeks of evidence. There will be legal argument tomorrow after which the defence teams will indicate if they intend to call evidence.

The boy has previously 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 in their Waterford home.

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 at the Central Criminal Court 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 final prosecution witness was the child's guardian ad litem, an independent social worker assigned to represent the boy's interests. She told prosecution counsel Pauline Walley SC that she visited the boy in residential care in the UK last year along with two social workers.

She said the boy seemed agitated that day. He had circles under his eyes and was pacing the floor. While they were eating in McDonalds he became emotional and asked to speak to a social worker alone.

The trial has already heard that he then retracted the allegations of sexual abuse against his parents and said that only physical abuse took place.

However during his trial testimony the now 12 year old insisted the allegations were true and said he only retracted them because he didn't want to go through with the trial.

Asked about the McDonalds retractions, the guardian ad litem said she didn't believe they were true. “I didn't believe the child meant what he said,” she told counsel.

The trial is due to sit on Saturday as it is behind schedule and some of the jurors need to return to work soon. Mr Justice Robert Eagar said he would let the jurors go at lunchtime on Saturday if the weather was nice.

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