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The Courthouse on Anglesea Street, Cork
The Courthouse on Anglesea Street, Cork
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Young boy was sexually assaulted by Cork teen in a 'game of torture'

A SIX-year-old boy was repeatedly sexually assaulted by a 13-year-old for several months in what the assailant described as “a game of torture” and today – more than 30 years later – the victim said the accused would always be a vile and predatory paedophile.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin imposed a jail term of two years to be added to eight years already being served by 45-year-old John Murphy of 33 Silversprings Court, Tivoli. The last year was suspended.

Murphy pleaded guilty to eight counts of sexually assaulting the six-year-old back in the 1980s.

Detective Garda Mark Durcan said John Murphy gave the victim a “dinky toy” and told him not to tell anyone after the six-year-old had played “a game of torture” with the older boy.

The assaults consisted of the accused pulling down his own and the child’s pants and touching his penis, trying to masturbate him, masturbating himself and eventually performing oral sex on the child.

Judge Ó Donnabháin said: “Even though he was himself a child when he committed these eight counts they are a significant matter.

“Aggravating factors include the nature of the abuse — touching leading to masturbation leading to oral sex, the length of time and the repeat nature of the offences.”

The judge said an undoubted mitigating factor was the plea of guilty which was a public acknowledgement by the guilty party that everything said by the injured party is correct and that the injured party is vindicated.

“As he believes that locals shunned him or he did not get support these people are wrong. As he believes it (his complaint) was not processed early enough, the reports he made were true and should have been acted on.

“Everything he said is correct.

“You would want to be a stone not to see and feel the hurt the victim has — it is palpable and genuine.

“Every phrase of his victim impact statement comes from the heart, from a lived experience, almost a bursting hurt, almost as if though quietly spoken in the witness box he screams out the hurt he went through.

“I cannot make up for the community that did not act and the others that did not act. It is now acknowledged he was a victim,” the judge said.

The injured party said in his victim impact statement that the accused was allowed to continue to abuse because of the inaction of gardaí and others after concerns were first raised.

“Neighours heard about the assault but accused me of lying, People gossiped about me and my family.

“I was always known as the boy who told vicious lies and shunned from the local community.

“I had no friends growing up and felt like an outsider. I was extremely lonely. I found it difficult to believe I could trust anyone.

“This has had a profound impact on my sense of belonging. Even today I still find it difficult to trust people.

“I am also aware that I feel very angry at times and frustrated that I have waited 33 years for a chance at justice.

“The scars I have are not visible to people but they are no less and if they were visible I would look like someone who has been beaten to a pulp and left for dead on the side of the road.

“The trail of disaster it caused my family and I we are still trying to repair 33 years later.

“In finishing, I would like to thank my family for the stoic support they give me.

“I would like to thank Mary Crilly of Cork Sexual Violence Centre for the support she has given me and continues to give me.

“I would also like to thank Mark Durcan for the professionalism and support he has given me and my family while pursuing this case.”

Judge Ó Donnabháin said there had been consequences for the accused, John Murphy, who has lost his job and family and was now in custody.

The judge imposed a sentence of two years, consecutive to the eight Murphy was serving, and he suspended the last year of it.

Emmet Boyle, defence barrister, said the accused disclosed what he had done before he was even prosecuted for the abuse.

He said Murphy was very young at the time.

He also said the accused had undertaken the Safer Lives programme to deal with his problems.