Tuesday 11 December 2018

Man raped young boy after 'working his way' into child's family home


Sonya McLean

A man who raped and sexually abused a young boy after “working his way” into the child's family home has been jailed for six years.

The 31-year-old, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his now 18-year-old victim, pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to four charges of oral rape and four of sexual assault on dates between July 2011 and March 2012 at the victim's family home in South West Ireland. He has 57 previous convictions but has never been charged with a sexual crime.

The court heard the abuse started when the boy was just 11-years-old.

Today Mr Justice Michael White sentenced the man to nine years in prison with the final three years suspended for that period.

Mr Justice White noted that the man seemed to have been quite immature for his age but couldn't say definitively whether he had ingratiated himself into the boy's family to groom the child.

He said it was “disgraceful” to have supplied the boy of such a young age with alcohol and added that he hoped the victim has overcome the huge impact this had had on his life.

The court heard earlier that the offences came to light after the boy confided in a friend when they were both in a care home. The girl convinced him to go to the authorities and he ultimately made a statement to gardaí in August 2015.

At that time the victim had been identified as a child at risk having previously attempted suicide. He had gone to the care home voluntarily due to addiction to both drugs and alcohol, which he said the man had introduced him to when they first met.

The 18-year-old stated in his victim impact report that at the time of the abuse he was looking for an adult male figure and the man befriended him. “He worked his way into our family home,” he said.

He described himself as feeling confused and vulnerable at the time and said he kept running away from home. He said the man gave him drugs and alcohol and he used these to hide what he was going through.

“I lost my young adult life, and my belief in myself,” the teenager continued before he described his behaviour at the time “as a cry for help”.

He said he now was “glad” he looked for assistance and thanked the gardaí and his mother for supporting him.

“I hope I can begin my life now,” the victim concluded in his statement.

A local garda told Dara Hayes BL, prosecuting, that the boy texted the man in 2015 telling him he was going to expose him.

The man claimed he didn't know what the teenager was “on about” but when the victim replied “you know what you did to me”, he offered him cannabis to keep quiet.

Brendan Grehan SC, defending, told Mr Justice White that the defendant had engaged with the probation service who concluded in a report that he would need support and supervision when he was eventually released from custody.

Counsel pointed out that his client suggested to his probation officer that he found the company of younger people easier than dealing with adult company. He said the man was willing to comply with any conditions that the judge may wish to impose.

The garda agreed with Mr Grehan that his client never used any force on the child nor was there ever a “threat of violence”.

He accepted that the man is autistic and has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. He further accepted that the man admitted that he “hung around with a lot of young people”.

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