Wednesday 22 January 2020

Son challenged on rape claims

Angry court exchange over accusations against father

Ciaran Byrne

HIS father is accused of raping and molesting him over three years -- a harrowing 47 counts of sexual abuse in an alleged childhood from hell.

The son was 12 and barely out of primary school when the abuse allegedly began.

Up until then, it was an upbringing relatively free of difficulty or incident.

Now 20, he sat in court and answered a question from defence barrister David Goldberg: Did he have any good memories of his father?

"Yes, sometimes," he said simply. Was it outside of the family home? "Yeah, suppose."

"Played pool, dunno, different stuff, like," he continued.

There had also been days out fishing and some other close moments.

In court six at the Central Criminal Court yesterday, those days seemed a long, long time ago.

The father denies all the charges including 11 counts of anal rape, 12 of oral rape, 24 charges of sexual assault and one charge of wilful neglect or ill-treatment of the boy between 2001 and June 23, 2004.

Mr Goldberg, cross-examining the 20-year-old, who has already told the court how his father would rape him at night, said the boy had been a sickly child growing up.

"You had chest problems, you were asthmatic and your parents took you to doctors. You were properly treated?" he asked.

"I suppose," replied the son.

Mr Goldberg reached back into the 20-year-old's childhood and clashed angrily with his witness as the details were tossed around the court.

The barrister referred to an incident in which the then young boy, while riding his bike to a youth club, was the target of an alleged abduction.

"The matter was investigated and never resolved," suggested Mr Goldberg. "Is this because the allegation had no foundation in it?"

"I don't know what you are trying to make out," shot back the 20-year-old. "It's not a lie."

"I know all of this happened and so does the man here," said the son, jerking his head back towards his father, sitting in the walnut-panelled dock.


Mr Goldberg pressed home his intended point. "Do you think because you say something, it's the truth; it has to be accepted as the truth?"

"No," said the witness.

"Well, it's not," said Mr Goldberg.

The counsel referred to an earlier statement to gardai, in which the son claimed his father offered him cash for oral sex but that he never got any money. In his evidence to the court on Tuesday, the son said his father would hit him if he refused to engage in oral sex.

Money wasn't mentioned on Tuesday in this "ferocious" allegation, added Mr Goldberg.

"It's not an allegation, it's the truth," said the witness.

"It's an allegation," said Mr Goldberg.

"It's the truth," insisted the 20-year-old.

"I need to know why you did not say in the statement what you said in evidence yesterday," said the barrister.

"I know it happened and he does, too," insisted the son, again gesturing to his father.

The boy slept with a knife under his bed for many years, revealed Mr Goldberg. Why?

"When I was baby-sitting . . . sure, anybody could come in the door," said the 20-year-old.

Why had he not used the knife to confront his father -- "to stop him raping you?" -- asked the barrister. "It was there to defend you and you don't use it. I put it to you that (the alleged rapes) didn't happen."

"I didn't want to end up in jail," said the 20-year-old.

The trial, before Judge Barry White, continues.

Irish Independent

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