Tuesday 24 October 2017

'He took years of my life away' - Man with 42 previous convictions found guilty of raping nephew

The Central Criminal Court
The Central Criminal Court

Isabel Hayes

A man who was sexually abused by his uncle as a teenager has described how his abuser took advantage of his elevated family status to “silence and belittle him” during a “traumatic” trial.

The 71-year-old Dublin man, who can't be named for legal reasons, pleaded not guilty to six counts of indecent assault and one count of sexually assaulting his nephew between 1989 and 1991, when the boy was aged between 15 and 17-years-old. The charges were brought against him on a sample basis, the court heard.

He was found guilty by a jury of five counts of indecent assault and one count of sexual assault.

The man is currently serving a 10-year sentence for similar offences. He has 42 previous convictions, including for sexual assault, rape and indecent assault.

The Central Criminal Court heard on Monday that the man was highly educated and was looked up to by his extended family members as a result.

He lived with his elderly mother in Dublin and his nephew was regularly sent over to the house to help out and do odd jobs. The teenager shared a bedroom with his uncle on these visits.

Detective Sergeant Brian Grealy told prosecution barrister, Garnet Orange SC, that on the first occasion the boy stayed over in the house, his uncle showed him pornography.

On subsequent visits, his uncle regularly engaged in sexual misconduct with the boy.

Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy will sentence the man on March 6.

The victim, now a 42-year-old father-of-two, said the man used his education and expertise to “silence and belittle” him during the trial, which he said was a “traumatic” experience.

During the trial, the man took the stand and told the jury his nephew had fabricated the allegations.

The victim said he felt powerless when his uncle took the stand and said he was lying.

“I was furious that he suggested that what I was saying was a lie and that the abuse was a figment of my imagination,” he said. “I feel my character was called into question.”

He said the jury's verdict provided some relief. “But I still have to live with what he did to me,” he said. “...He took years of my life away, years I will never get back.”

The victim said his abuser was well-respected in the family, which prevented him from coming forward about the abuse for years.

“My mother and father looked up to him. He knew I was a quiet and shy boy and he took advantage of me.”

He said his abuser told him that the abuse was “normal and not wrong”.

“For this reason I never told anyone. He was held in such high esteem that I thought no-one would believe me.”

The man said his mother still feels guilty for sending him over to his uncle's house and that he did not have a close relationship with her as a result of the abuse. He said his relationship with his wife and children also suffered and that he was extremely over-protective of his kids.

Defence barrister, Blaise O'Carroll SC, urged the judge to consider the man's age, the antiquity of the offences and the delay in bringing charges against the man.

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