Sunday 18 March 2018

'Some people had cereal - I was molested for breakfast'

"Whatever sentence I give is an inadequate reflection of the horrors of the abuse," said Mr Justice Hunt Stock photo: Getty Images/Ingram Publishing

Conor Gallagher and Nicola Donnelly

Two brothers felt they were molested "millions of times" by their "diabolical" stepfather who was yesterday jailed for a litany of sexual offences.

The man raped and sexually assaulted two of his step-sons hundreds of times over a 10-year period, and was sentenced to 21 years in prison with the final seven suspended.

The 51-year-old, who was married to the victims' mother, also had his friend sexually abuse one of the boys - and abused both of them in front of another male relative. He sometimes made the boys commit incest with each other.

On handing down the sentence, Mr Justice Tony Hunt said "There was harrowing evidence of industrial quantities which had a profound and long lasting effect on both boys."

He said both victims gave "sad and moving evidence" and "the effect of the crimes and the resulting damage has been permanent and irreparable for both."

"Whatever sentence I give is an inadequate reflection of the horrors of the abuse," said Mr Justice Hunt.

One of the boys told the court he didn't know how many times the accused abused him.

"It seemed like millions of times ... Some people had cereal for breakfast, I seemed to be molested for breakfast."

The victims have told the court they wish to waive their anonymity so their step-father can be named publicly. However, Mr Justice Tony Hunt said the anonymity orders remain in place for the time being - but that a formal application can be made to have the restrictions lifted at a later date.

The man pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to 165 counts of rape and sexual assault against one boy and 40 similar offences against his brother between 1993 and 2003.

During interviews with gardaí he accepted that he was a "paedophile rapist" and described his offending as "shameful, horrendous, appalling, diabolical".


Michael O'Higgins SC, defending, said his client wished to express his "deepest, sincere and profound sorrow" to the victims.

In powerful victim impact reports the victims outlined the effects of the abuse. The elder victim, who is now aged in his thirties, said he has been left with no confidence in himself. His brother said he is living now what can only be described as "hell on earth".

The elder victim went to gardaí last year and told them he had been abused since the age of nine when the accused moved in with them. "I think he used to get off on the thrill of nearly getting caught," he said.

Irish Independent

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