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SOCIAL BOOKMARKS

Cork man guilty of ’80s indecent assaults on two boys

A CORK man in his 50s was remanded in custody yesterday after a jury found him guilty of indecently assaulting two boys in the 1980s.

The jury found him guilty on six counts yesterday at Cork Circuit Criminal Court, at the end of a four-day trial.

The accused had denied any indecent assault on any child. The defendant was aged 17 when the indecent assaults commenced and the victims were aged from four to 10.

The verdicts were variously 10-2 and 11-1 majority guilty verdicts on six counts. Initially, he went on trial on 30 charges. Following submissions from Elizabeth O’Connell, defence senior counsel, the judge directed the jury to return verdicts of not guilty by direction of the trial judge on 16 charges.

The jury deliberated on the remaining 14 counts and found him not guilty on eight of those indecent assault counts.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin remanded the defendant in custody for sentencing on April 30. Victim impact statements by the two injured parties are to be prepared by then.

Questioned by his own lawyer, Ms O’Connell SC, during the trial, the defendant said on the allegations, firstly, that he molested one of the complainants when he was a child: “Absolutely not. I would have no inclination to go at a child like that. Not at all. I had no inclination like that towards children. To this day I would be disgusted by things like that.” One complainant described waking up with the accused standing by his bed with his hand over his mouth saying, “shut the f*** up”, and had his other hand on the boy’s penis. He replied: “Absolutely not. I would not touch a child in that way, ever, no way.”

One of the men said that when he was a young boy he was playing in the large box which had contained a microwave oven and the defendant molested him but that the child reacted by kicking his face. He replied: “I was never kicked in the face. I never assaulted either [two names].”

The second complainant described the defendant having his trousers down and telling the boy to bend over a bed with his bottom sticking up but that a car pulled up outside the house and the defendant panicked. He replied: “I don’t know how to answer. I would be disgusted. I had a normal relationship with those boys.” The defendant said he interacted with children all his life in a normal way and described himself as a normal person, getting married and having a family more than 20 years ago.

Ms O’Connell said the complainants alleged the defendant played the soccer board game Subbuteo with them but used it as a mask for molesting them by hiding the ball in their trousers and searching for it. “Absolutely not,” he replied.

Cross-examining, prosecution barrister Jane Hyland said: “Both boys said you made threats against members of their families.”

The defendant said: “That kind of behaviour is not in my nature.” He denied the allegation that he had threatened to kill the boys’ grandparents if the boys told anyone what was happening.