A man who anally raped and sexually abused his nephew “nearly every night” for two years has received a seven year sentence with the last two years suspended.
The 30-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his victim, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to three charges of sexual assault on dates between January 1, 2002 and December 31, 2003.
His victim was between seven and nine years old at the time while the accused was 21 when the abuse first started.
Judge Delahunt said that a victim impact report submitted to the court made for sorrowful reading and that it was clear that the man’s offending had torn the family apart.
She said the court had noted the man’s plea of guilty but rejected a submission from his defence counsel, Mr Kerida Naidoo BL, that the man’s low IQ had diminished his moral culpability in committing the offences.
Judge Delahunt said that the court would not engage in “hypothetical” scenarios and rejected this proposition as a mitigating factor.
Suspending the last 24 months of a seven year sentence, Judge Delahunt ordered that the man undergo victim awareness counselling in custody and be registered as a sex offender for a period of seven years after his release.
Garda Fiona Divilly told Mr Dominic McGinn BL, prosecuting, that the accused would touch the boy, make him touch him, perform oral sex on the boy and anally rape him.
She said the teenager told gardaí “it happened so many times I cannot think of one particular time” and described the abuse as occurring “nearly every night”.
He said while the man molested him he would ask him to “stop it, stop it” but the accused would just laugh. His uncle told him if he ever told anyone about the abuse, he would kill him “stone dead”.
The offences came to light when the boy was 13 years old and watching a film with his mother in which a child was being molested. He broke down and told his mother that her brother had abused him. She immediately reported the accused to the gardaí.
In the victim impact statement which was read to the court the teenager outlined that he could not say that his “school days were the best of my life”.
“I don’t know how I will react when I see him. Maybe I will break down or maybe I will just give him a dig but I don’t want to inflict pain on anyone else, not even him,” the victim stated.
He said he had not been able to talk about his feelings and took his anger out of everyone.
The teenager described “locking the experience away” and said that he had found it hard to trust people.
“It was the first thing that I think of when I wake up everyday. I don’t dream. I just have nightmares,” he stated.
He said at first he thought his uncle was “just playing games” but he later realised it was wrong and blamed his parents for not protecting him.
The accused was arrested on February 23, 2008 and later admitted in garda interview that that he had abused him two or three times. He claimed the boy was asleep at the time and would not have been aware of what was happening.
He denied that he had threatened his nephew or had anal sex with him and said that the boy never asked him to stop.
The accused had 37 previous convictions for road traffic and forgery offences.
Counsel for the defence, Mr Kerida Naidoo BL, told the court that the man’s early plea of guilty should accrue him the maximum benefit, as he had saved a minor victim of a sexual assault having to come before the court to testify.
Mr Nadioo said that the fact that the man’s IQ rested between the ranges of borderline and extremely low meant that he would have difficulty thinking though his actions.
He submitted to the court that although the man was still obviously legally responsible for his actions, this reduced level of awareness affected his moral culpability.
Mr Naidoo said that the man was also a possible sufferer of epilepsy, and that this condition was known to have effects on an individual’s self-control and inhibitive behaviour.