Child abuser fails to attend sentencing hearing

A child abuser facing sentence for molesting his five-year-old nephew has failed to show up for his sentencing hearing today.

The 51-year-old faced up to 10 years in prison when he was due to be sentenced today at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

He had pleaded guilty to indecent assault at the child's Dublin home at some point during 1983.

However he failed to appear for sentencing and Judge Martin Nolan issued a bench warrant for his arrest.

Defence counsel James Dwyer BL said that his client has a serious drinking problem and this was the likely cause of his absence rather than any attempt to escape a sentence.

Judge Nolan replied that he didn't think the accused "was capable of fleeing very far if I'm any judge of character."

Mr Dwyer says that his client deals with stress by resorting to alcohol and that he likely did not mean any disrespect to the court.

Earlier this week Garda Avril Doyle told Melanie Greally BL that in the 1980s the man sometimes babysat for his sister. On one occasion he brought his five-year-old nephew into the bathroom and blocked the door.

He then made the child perform a sex act on him. The child told his mother about the incident straight away but the accused denied it when he was confronted.

The victim repressed the memory until it came up in a counselling session last year causing him to make a complaint to gardaí.

The accused was arrested and made immediate admissions, blaming the incident on his alcohol problem.

His counsel said he feels huge remorse and shame and that he suffers from depression.

Mr Dwyer said his client has led a "very sad and miserable life" and that this has been a punishment in itself.

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