Convicted abuser who kept school job raped children again

Central Criminal Court: Irish Times, Irish Independent

A 56-year-old man who remained in a job as a caretaker in a Donegal Irish school after being added to the sex offenders list in 2002 pleaded guilty to 38 sample charges of sexual assault against four young boys at the Central Criminal Court yesterday (Monday 11 July).

“I carried this cross on my back for 12 years unable to forgive myself for what this demon did to me” one of his victims said in a statement read in the court. “He took my soul, my faith, my heart.”

“The only word I know to describe him is a demon.”

Another victim described a recurring nightmare with his abuser “holding his hand over my mouth and telling me to be quiet in a darkened room.” In another dream, he was trying to escape from the school and his tormentor.

“I’m sorry I ever set foot in that place, there were opportunities,” the accused man told detectives when they arrested him.

The single man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was previously convicted on two counts of sexual assault in December 2002 before Letterkenny District Court, but was not named in court for legal reasons. The offences took place in 1985 and 1986 in the same school where he was still employed.

He was fined €500, given a six month suspended sentence, and placed on the sex offenders list.

Yesterday (Monday 11 July) He pleaded guilty before Judge Paul Carney to 38 sample charges, out of a total of 96 on the indictment.

The earliest charges dated to 1991, and ranged up to 2003. All of the victims were boys from the local area where the school was based.

The victims and their families were present in the court to see the abuser plead guilty.

Garda Denise Casserly told the court the offences first came to light when one of the man’s victim’s reported them to a local doctor in May 2010. The victim was forwarded to a HSE social worker, and also reported the assaults to the Guards.

The assaults began when he was 12 years old.

Patricia McLaughlin SC said the Director of Public Prosecutions viewed the offences as being “in the most serious category” dues to the age of the victims and systematic grooming.

The court was told the accused had studied for the priesthood in Maynooth from 1974 to 1979, did not graduate after “a disagreeable event took place in Maynooth which caused him to leave”.

“I realise I done wrong. I just got into a darkness, a spiral of pure evil, hard to explain” the accused man told detectives when he was arrested.

Three other victims also came forward to make complaints, the court was told.

The boys ranged in age from ten to 13 when the sexual assaults began, and were repeatedly assaulted and raped over several years, in one case until the victim completed his Leaving certificate.

In victim impact statements, the four said they had suffered from alcohol and drug addiction, depression, had tried to commit suicide, found difficulty in forming relationships with women, and had been admitted to psychiatric hospital.

In each of the cases, the victims outlined how they were given money, alcohol and sweets by the offender, who also showed them pornographic films.

The man also pleased guilty to charges of creating child pornography, as he photographed his victims in the nude.

One of the victims recounted how he was given whiskey to drink, and the man then masturbated him, telling him to “imagine if it was a girl doing it”. He was assaulted weekly until he was 15 years old.

Another told how he was anally raped at Halloween when he was 14 years old. The abuse continued until he did his leaving certificate. He suffered from depression, was suicidal, and had been treated at an addiction and counselling centre.

A third victim has related how on one occasion he awoke after being plied with alcohol, and his back passage was sore and bleeding. He said the assaults had “ruined his life”, and made him “suicidal and ashamed.”

The fourth victim told how he was first assaulted when he was 10 years old. The man initially had pinned him to the floor and tickling him, and this progressed to putting his hand down his trousers. When he was 14 or 15, he had escaped from the man by climbing trough a toilet window.

When the offender was arrested in June 2010, he made admissions in custody relating to the victims, and said he showed them pornographic films to “get them in the mood”.

He apologised to his victims and their families, saying “I want them to have closure. I accept the fact that I have done wrong.”

The offences he pleaded guilty to before Judge Carney related to both before and after his 2002 conviction, the court heard.

Mr Justice Paul Carney adjourned sentencing until next Monday, 18 July.