Wednesday 29 January 2020

Son wants to 'crawl into a black hole and die'

Fiona Ferguson

THEY didn't love him, only feared him.

Yesterday, the Central Criminal Court heard the horrific details of the abuse and neglect suffered by four of his children.

They were dirty, hungry, cold and had poor education.

And because of the way they had been treated, they wished their father would be locked up for "999 years" or "have his head chopped off".

They also pleaded with the judge to "make everything right" and keep their abusive father away from children.

Victim impact reports read to the court during the sentence hearing by their guardian ad litem (appointed for the legal action only) revealed they have difficulties making friends and a troubled relationship with food.

The eldest child was described as being extremely isolated with low self-esteem, blaming himself for his father's treatment of him. He feels self-loathing and considers himself to be "the worst child in the world". He desperately tried to make friends but the abuse and neglect means that he has no friends of his own age.

The court heard that he feels an inappropriate level of responsibility for his siblings. And as a result of neglect, he now has a difficult relationship with food as well as a desire for an apology from his father.

The offences had a profound effect on the second eldest boy, who has expressed suicidal thoughts. He has spoken of his hopes for the future being that he wants to "crawl into a black hole and die".

He said he hates himself and his life is unbearable. "It's all dad's fault," he added.

He was traumatised by the experience of giving evidence and expressed a wish that his dad receive a "999-year sentence or have his head chopped off".

The eldest girl is often overcome by fear and self-loathing. She, too, is unable to form friendships and has a troubled relationship with food.

"He should be behind bars for all the things he done to me," she said. She also asked the judge: "Make everything right and keep him away from kids."

The youngest boy is insecure and unable to make sense of people due to the unpredictability of his life before he went into care. He is also mistrusting of others. "I was sad when he hit me. I hate him," he said.

The youngest child is demanding of attention and sometimes regresses to the behaviour of a baby. She is unable to make and sustain relationships and frequently challenges those in authority.

She hated the experience of going to court and said: "I think the judge should leave him in jail forever because he is rude and mean. Don't let him out because he will hurt people."

Irish Independent

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