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Tuesday 20 February 2018

Donegal school caretaker gets 18 years for rape reporters

A Donegal caretaker, who came back to work after previously sexually abusing a child, has been given an 18 year sentence for molesting and raping four boys at the school.

The final four years of the sentence were suspended.

55-year-old Michael Ferry from Bunbeg, Gweedore, Co Donegal, pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to 38 sample charges of rape, 18 sex assaults and two charges of production of child pornography between 1990 and 2005.

The boys, aged between 10 and 17 years old, were sexually abused on an almost weekly basis, some for as long as four years.

The man groomed them by supplying them with alcohol, cigarettes and money, a court heard yesterday while they were also forced to watch pornography with him.

Mr Justice Paul Carney described it as “disturbing” that the incidences at the school pre-dated and post-dated the man's conviction for indecent assault at the same school.

He was convicted in 2002 for two incidents of indecent assault in 1985 and 1986, received a six-month suspended sentence and was placed on the sex offenders' register for five years.

Mr Justice Carney said this must have been known to local Gardaí and presumably the school authorities.

He said despite the fact that he had pleaded guilty to the previous charge, he remained working at the school and had the opportunity to engage in the stalking and grooming of the boys in this case.

Two of the boys told had told Gardaí they were abused by him when he got them so drunk they were afraid to go home to their parents.

Another woke up from a vodka induced sleep and found himself naked and bleeding.

In victim impact statements read to the court, the four boys, who are now young adults, described the nightmare while some had turned to alcohol and drugs.

One said the abuse had taken over his life.

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