An autistic teenager who was sexually exploited in a toilet was unable to speak about the trauma, but his mother has told how she found hundreds of drawings of men that her son had labelled “paedo”.
The boy’s mother said during victim impact evidence at Cork Circuit Criminal Court that she and her husband found that their son had started to self-harm since the sexual abuse. He is not inclined to discuss what happened in the shopping centre toilet. However, she found hundreds of drawings under his bed. All of them depicted men labelled with the word ‘paedo’.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin imposed a five-year jail term with half of it suspended in the case against 56-year-old Dahesh Patel of Dillon’s Court, Dillon’s Cross, Cork.
Dahesh said that he was married to his partner, William, for 27 years and never had anyone’s penis in his mouth. Asked by his senior counsel, Mary Rose Gearty, if he had never done so because of concerns for his personal hygiene he agreed that this was so.
Ms Gearty said that when interviewed in prison by a psychiatrist Patel admitted that he had sexually assaulted the boy, something he had always denied up to that point.
The 16-year-old said of the day of the incident during video evidence: “I was under the impression I needed a pee. The man just stared at me and nothing was happening. He said, ‘we can make it happen’. He grabbed my private. He claimed he was trying to help. He put it in his mouth. That really confused me. What is he doing? He said, ‘Do you want some more?’ I said, ‘No thanks’, and he left.”
The boy’s mother said yesterday that when Patel sexually molested her son on June 21, 2015, he would definitely have been able to tell that he was vulnerable.
“We all found the trial process extremely difficult, stressful and emotionally exhausting listening to Dahesh Patel blaming everyone else — the detectives and the forensic scientist — instead of admitting what he had done. It made us feel enraged and sick. Having to give evidence was extremely nerve wracking and having to leave [son’s name] downstairs to give his evidence via video link was very difficult. Since the trial his behaviour has regressed. He has started self-harming again which he has not done for over six years.
“He says he hates himself and wishes he was dead. He repeatedly asks if Dahesh Patel is really in prison as he does not want that to happen to anyone else. He won’t get up in the morning and when asked why, he says because he is so upset.
“I have found hundreds of drawings under his bed featuring pen drawn images of men all labelled ‘paedo’. He refuses to talk to us about these.
“We have always been very protective of (name) but also trying to allow him a small amount of safe independence. So we felt completely devastated by Dahesh Patel’s sexual assault on him in a public place during the day time.
“He took advantage of him in the most demeaning way and the fact that he refused to admit to his guilt and did not take responsibility for his wrongdoing has caused us a lot of emotional trauma. We do not know what the future will hold so we cannot foresee what the full impact of this crime and it’s repercussions will have on all of our lives.”
Patel paid €10,000 towards counselling and therapy here and abroad which the victim has undergone since the assault.
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