Man to be sentenced for raping boy, 12

A Tipperary man who raped a 12-year-old boy after luring him down a lane will be sentenced next week.

Andrew Roche (28), with an address in Nelson Street, Clonmel, Tipperary, pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to one count of orally raping the boy and one count of anally raping him on a date between December 25, 2008 and March 17, 2009.

Today, Garda Caroline O'Riordan told Conor Devally SC, prosecuting, that the victim came forward to gardaí in 2014. The young man told gardaí how when he was 12 years' old a man lured him to a lane, telling him: “I want to show you something”.

Roche then forced himself on the boy and raped him, the court heard. Before letting his victim go, he warned him not to tell anybody what had happened.

The victim told gardaí he went home, washed himself and went to bed crying. He said he was in considerable pain after the incident and was too afraid to tell his mother what had happened.

He eventually confided in his mother five years later. A family member helped him identify Roche on social media and he went to gardaí.

When questioned by gardaí, Roche, who was 20 at the time of the attack, was initially “quite relaxed”, Mr Devally said.

He told gardaí he remembered an incident of a sexual nature around that time with someone his own age, Gda O'Riordain said. However, once he was told his victim had been a young boy, he denied all knowledge of the events.

He pleaded guilty shortly after his trial was due to start in May 2014. Roche, who has 41 previous convictions, including for theft, robbery, burglary and drug use, has been in custody on other matters since February 2016.

Mr Justice Paul Coffey remanded him in custody and will sentence him next Monday, July 24.

In a victim impact statement read out in court, the man, now aged 20, said he suffers from anger issues since the attack. “I would lash out and hit walls at home,” he said.

“I was really angry at him for doing that to me when I was a child.”

He said coming to court for the start of the trial brought it all back to him. “When he pleaded guilty, I started crying,” he said.

He said he was relieved he wouldn't have to give evidence in court, but was also disappointed he didn't get the chance to describe what happened to him. He said he plans to get more counselling at the Rape Crisis Centre and hopes to move on with his life.

“I will never forgive him and I will never accept his apology,” he said of Roche. “It means nothing to me.”

Defence barrister, Aidan Doyle SC, handed up a psychiatric report on behalf of his client. He said Roche had a troubled family background and became addicted to drugs at the age of 15. He was homeless for some time.

He said Roche told gardaí he couldn't remember carrying out the attack, telling them: “I was off my head”. He also told gardaí he was “sorry for what happened to the young fella”.

Mr Doyle said Roche wished to apologise to his victim. “That may not be of interest to the victim but it is maybe something the court will bear in mind,” he said.

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