Friday 27 April 2018

Paedophile 'went on to abuse his cousin even after he was reported'

Greg Harkin

A PAEDOPHILE who had been reported to the HSE for sexually abusing his four-year-old cousin slipped through the system "due to cutbacks" and went on to abuse her again and again, a court has heard.

The 23-year-old man subjected the girl to sexual abuse for several more years and abused the girl's brother and his own brother, Letterkenny Circuit Court was told.

The man, who cannot be named to protect the identities of his victims, wept as he was jailed for five years on 25 sample counts of sexual assault.

Judge John O'Hagan described the paedophile as a predator who should remain on the sex offenders' register for the rest of his life.

Garda Sergeant Joe Keeley told the court the offences came to light in February 2011 when a cousin using the man's mobile phone saw explicit texts in his 'sent message' box. The alarm was raised, social services were informed and gardai were called in to investigate.

The man's 11-year-old cousin was subsequently interviewed by specially trained officers. He spoke about weekly sex attacks, followed by payments of €30 or €40 and threats of what would happen if he told anyone.

The victim's eight-year-old sister – the girl who had been abused four years earlier – was also interviewed and she too told of enduring sickening sexual assaults.

The paedophile's brother then came forward to say he had been sexually assaulted, but that the abuse had stopped when he turned 10.

During interviews, the defendant claimed his eight-year-old cousin "knew all about sex". He admitted the attacks.

Desmond Murphy SC, defending, told Judge John O'Hagan he had become aware that the girl had made a complaint of an incident when she was four or five.

"The HSE was informed and the defendant was sent to Roscommon on a programme. But, essentially due to cutbacks in funding, he fell through the cracks," said Mr Murphy.

The accused, he said, went on to carry out further abuse of not just the girl, but also the two boys between July 2007 and February 2011.

He said the paedophile used considerable coercion in his attacks.

"The banality of evil took over – once he committed one assault, the rest followed," said Mr Murphy, adding that his client had been '"sucked into routine evil".

PRISON

"He is a menace to his family and he could be a menace to society," admitted counsel.

However, he said he feared that the defendant would not survive in prison, saying: "He is 23 but he looks 12."

The judge sentenced the defendant to five years in prison on each of the 25 counts, suspending the last two years of the concurrent sentence.

He also ordered the paedophile to be kept on the sex offenders' register for life, and ordered him to engage with the probation service for five years on his release from prison.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News