Child rapist arrested in Cork after failing to appear for sentencing

Child rapist arrested in Cork after failing to appear for sentencing
Anthony Moynihan (54) of Rostellan, Midleton, co. Cork pictured at Cork Circuit Criminal Court. Pic from Cork Courts Ltd

A 54-year-old Corkman who failed to attend his sentencing hearing for raping and sexually assaulting an 11-year-old boy was arrested in Cork yesterday.

A bench warrant was issued on Friday for the arrest of Anthony Moynihan of Croccane, Rostellan, Midleton after he failed to appear at the Central Criminal Court.

Mr Moynihan was sentenced in his absence to seven years in prison for raping and sexually assaulting Dylan Higgins over a period of two years when Higgins was a pre-teen boy.

Mr Higgins, now 23, waived his right to anonymity so that Moynihan could be named.

At the hearing, counsel for Moynihan said he took the train to Dublin on Friday morning to attend the hearing and that he was spotted in the vicinity of the court building.

However, his counsel added that Moynihan was later seen heading back towards Heuston Station.

Mr Moynihan was arrested on Saturday afternoon by gardaí in Blackrock and brought to Bridewell Garda Station, where he was detained.

At the hearing, Justice Michael White condemned the “brutal” abuse inflicted on Mr Higgins.

Mr Higgins read his own victim impact statement aloud in court and urged other abuse victims to come forward as “it may save lives”.

Mr Justice White paid tribute to Mr Higgins for his “tremendous courage” in reporting the abuse, giving his statement to gardaí and delivering a “very moving” statement in court outlining the severe impact the abuse had had on him.

The court heard Mr Higgins had attempted suicide twice and was greatly saddened that his mother had passed away in 2016 before he could disclose the crimes to her.

Mr Higgins added that he now wanted to get on with his life because he had “carried this for too long”.

Moynihan pleaded guilty to two charges of anal rape and two counts of sexually assaulting Mr Higgins on dates between September 9, 2006, and June 27, 2008.

Mr Justice White said Moynihan’s guilty plea was very important as he had made full admissions to gardaí early on.

He said another mitigating factor was that Moynihan was suffering from throat cancer.

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