Tuesday 24 April 2018

Sex tape of couple accused of abusing their son and another woman found in family home, court told

The Central Criminal Court
The Central Criminal Court

Conor Gallagher and Sonya McLean

The jury in the trial of a couple accused of sexually abusing their son has heard a sex tape was found in the house featuring the two accused and another woman.

The Central Criminal Court also heard evidence of a garda interview with the father in which he blamed the HSE for “brainwashing” his son into making the allegations.

The boy has previously alleged his father raped him, sexually abused him with a hot poker and forced him to have sex with his mother over the course of several years from when he was about six years old in their Waterford home.

The father is alleged to have filmed some of these incidents and shown them to others. He is further alleged to have held a gun to the child's head and to have left him locked in a box.

The parents face a total of 82 charges of abuse between 2007 and 2011 in Waterford. The father and mother have pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to 16 counts each of sexual exploitation and one charge each of child cruelty.

The mother has also denied 16 counts of sexual assault while the father denies 16 counts of rape and 16 counts of sexual assault with a poker.

A investigating garda told Pauline Walley SC, prosecuting, that several video tapes and DVDs were found in a search of the family home, 15 months after the child was taken into care.

One DVD began with an outside shot of the house and featured the child when he was about two years old. The next part showed both parents and a female engaging in sexual activity in the living room for about a hour.

Pornography was playing on the television and the box of a pornographic video was visible on the table. The garda said the child was living in the house at the time but was not in the video.

The garda said the father has several minor convictions for theft including two separate convictions for stealing children's paddling pools.

Both parents denied the allegations during interview and the father told gardaí the allegations had come from “the Health Board”.

“He has been brainwashed, whatever he said, he’s being told to say, it’s being put into his head,” he told gardaí.

He said he did shower with the child when he was younger but denied any sexual abuse.

He told gardaí during interview that it was he who contacted gardaí after their son asked his mother questions of a sexual nature.

He said the child said it to his mother during an access visit and when she asked him where he “was getting all this from”, he mentioned a named boy in his school.

“He said he went to the boy’s house after school. I contacted the school principal and the social worker and said he is not to go to the boy’s house. That is when I started to get the police involved,” the father told gardaí.

The man claimed it was he who insisted that the boy be tested and interviewed by gardaí.

The man consistently denied the boy’s allegations as gardaí read out sections of his statement of complaint and said he didn’t understand why he would say it.

He said if the gardaí had a lie detector test, he would take and “pass it”.

The man denied ever threatening the boy and denied watching pornography with him. He admitted that before his son was born and after he left their home, he (the accused) watched pornography with his wife .

The man told gardaí he watched these movies on DVD which he bought in a sex shop. He said he has since “gotten rid of them”.

When asked what his wife would say about their son’s allegations, the accused said “she will laugh at you” because they were “ridiculous”.

“She will back me up, not because she is loyal to me but because she speaks the truth like I do.”

The trial continues before Mr Justice Robert Eagar and a jury.

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