Thursday 23 November 2017

Man sexually abused as a boy by family friend awarded €130,000 in damages

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A MAN who was sexually abused as a young boy by a male family friend has been awarded €130,000 damages by the High Court.

Mr Justice Anthony Barr said he was satisfied the now 21-year-old man was telling he truth in relation to the abuse he suffered at the hands of the now 67-year-old pensioner.

The judge was satisfied he had been abused from the time he was seven until he was ten years old and that the abuse took place in the man’s car and the living room of his house.

He said the complainant's consistency in relation to the allegations was due, not to any pressure which may have been exerted on him by his mother, but to the fact the allegations were true.

The court heard the abuse  took place when the family friend brought him on delivery runs in his car when he was on holidays at his house.

The  pensioner had been convicted in the District Court in relation to the sexual assault of the boy and served nine months in prison.

In a counter claim, he contended the young man had been told to tell lies by his mother.

He also claimed the allegations only came to light after he himself won damages as a result of injuries received in a traffic accident.

Mr Justice Barr said it may be that over time the abuser "convinced himself of the veracity of this lie", but that "did not detract from the fact that his denial was indeed a lie.”

The judge accepted expert evidence for the young man that his circumstances came within Child Sex Abuse Accommodation Syndrome where he “ had to adapt himself to to a highly stressful and secretive situation that he did not understand and which caused him great anguish."

In his €130,000 award, the judge included €25,000 for aggravated damages because the pensioner had alleged the young man had deliberately told lies.

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