Friday 24 November 2017

Elderly parents of 'sadistic' son heavily in debt

Cruel man smashed, stole and spent his way through shattered captives' every possession

Eimear Ni Bhraonain

THE elderly couple tortured by their "sadistic" son who held them captive in a rural chalet are tens of thousands of euro in debt.

John Trimble Snr, 71, and his wife, Elizabeth, 70, have been living in rented accommodation since they were rescued last year following a five-and-half-month ordeal.

Their son, John Trimble Jnr, 39, was jailed for 15 years at Tullamore Circuit Court in Co Offaly for a litany of abuse against his parents, including harassment, endangering their lives, assault and false imprisonment on Thursday.

He had previously stalked an elderly woman and was bound to keep the peace for two years. Mr Trimble Snr said he and his wife were "financially stable" before their son's reign of terror began.

"We were financially stable and debt-free prior to John's actions. . . We were looking forward to enjoying our twilight years with friends and family," he said.

However, the couple lost all their personal possessions, which were "broken" or "stolen" by their son -- and are now "tens of thousands of euro in debt".

"These events have diminished our quality of life," Mr Trimble added.

The couple now find their financial state "depressing". They said they were "intensely private people" and their son's crime had left them feeling "humiliated and embarrassed".

"John is still a threat to us," his father said as he outlined his fear of reprisal in a victim impact statement.

Mr Trimble said he and his wife constantly asked: "Could we have done something to prevent this?"

Trimble used to wake his mother by shouting at her from 6am. He would then force her to take a freezing cold shower and make her "drip dry" in the bathroom while the back door was open. Elizabeth was forbidden from using a towel -- and not allowed to dress.

She would then endure "humiliating" walks -- while naked -- to a shed at the back of the house to do laundry.

The woman, who suffered from diabetes, was afraid to run away from her son because she believed he would harm her sick husband, who had prostate cancer.

Trimble Jnr gave no explanation for the torture. He said he was under "stress" and had "financial problems".

His neighbours described him as a "Peeping Tom" who used to drive flash cars, including two BMWs and a Volks-wagen Passat.

He had also started to build a house at the front of the chalet where he kept his parents. They believed he was spending his parents' money.

"I am under fierce stress. I am like a hermit, I'm living on my own, I have no one to talk to anymore," Trimble wept during his case.

He also said he was "sick in the head".

Before Judge Anthony Kennedy condemned Trimble for "wallowing in self-pity", the 39-year-old said he loved his parents "to bits".

His defence counsel admitted it was a "disturbing case", which showed "abnormal behaviour in the extreme".

A psychiatric examination was requested for Trimble, however, and he was found to be fit to plead guilty.

Sunday Independent

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