Saturday 18 November 2017

Man abused boy on annual holiday to Ireland

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Caroline Crawford

Caroline Crawford

A MAN who travelled to Ireland on holidays where he sexually abused a boy has been jailed for eight and a half years for the assaults.

The 76-year-old man had groomed the boy and sexually abused him over a five year period at a number of locations in the west of Ireland.

He pleaded guilty to five charges before Castlebar Circuit Criminal Court today.

The abuse occurred between 2000 and 2005 when the abuser would travel annually to Ireland on summer holidays. Gardai became aware of the abuse when the victim made a complaint in 2010.

The defendant was arrested abroad and extradited back to Ireland in 2014 where he has remained in custody.

The court heard the defendant would take photographs of the crimes as he carried them out.

In a victim impact statement, the victim, now 27, said he had been robbed of a normal childhood and had been left haunted into his adult life.

He said he had been under the control of his abuser from the age of 12 to 17.

The young man, who has since moved abroad, said he had contemplated throwing himself into a river or crashing his car as a result of the abuse. He told the court he had been left feeling lonely, depressed and suicidal as a result of the years of abuse.

He described his abuser as a larger than life figure who had manipulated his family into trusting him.

The young man only told his family about the abuse after he became concerned that another young relative may have been at risk from the same man.

Defending barrister Eoin Garavan described the case as extremely difficult and tragic. He said his client had a number of medical conditions, was immobile and had no one to care for him.

Judge Rory McCabe said the charges were of a most serious nature, describing the grooming as careful and calculated.

He said the length of time the abuse had occurred was a significant aggravating factor.

He imposed sentences ranging from 20 months to eight and a half years for the five charges and ordered that these be served concurrently.

He added that the lack of remorse shown meant there was no scope to suspend any portion of the sentence.

The judge backdated the sentence to January 2014, when the accused was initially arrested.

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