The 12-year-old son of a woman found guilty of child cruelty has told a court in a victim impact report that he doesn’t believe she did anything wrong.
The child said he put the blame on his father, aged 64, who was convicted in May of nine counts of raping the boy when he was aged six and seven. The trial at the Central Criminal Court heard he put the child in a wooden box and nailed it shut in their Waterford home.
Mr Justice Robert Eager said yesterday he would not impose sentence on the 37-year-old woman until he has dealt with her partner, who is due in court on September 23. The judge remanded the woman in continuing custody until October 17.
In his report, the boy, who is now in specialised residential care in the UK, told the court he wished he “could have taken her away from” his father. The boy called his mother a “kind woman” whom he felt sorry for but wished she had taken him away or placed him in care when the abuse started.
He said he was angry with her for staying with his father but that she was manipulated by the man. He said he remains loyal to his mother and would like to meet in the future “and just chat with her”.
The court heard the child continues to behave aggressively as a result of the abuse but is no longer displaying the sexualised behaviour he presented with when first taken into care. He is two years behind in school.
A psychological report stated that his parents’ trial, which lasted seven weeks, “retraumatised him” and caused his symptoms, including sleeplessness, anxiety, and hyper-vigilance, to get worse. The child spent nine days giving evidence via video-link.
During a post-trial meeting with a psychologist, he said, “please tell me this is it or I’m going to find a bus and jump in front of it”. A report stated that he continues to be verbally aggressive and his long-term mental and physical health is likely to be affected by the abuse.
The woman, who is from the UK, was convicted of child cruelty but found not guilty of sex assault relating to allegations she had sex or simulated sex with her child,
Both parents had pleaded not guilty to the offences, which occurred between 2009 and 2011.
Pauline Walley, prosecuting, said the facts about the mother’s involvement were “ambivalent”, that she was aware of her partner’s abuse but was “motivated by her fear of him”.
The court heard the woman has suffered abuse for much of her life.
John O’Kelly, defending, said she fell into a “perfect storm of abuse”.
He asked for a non-custodial sentence, saying his client “never had a chance from the age of seven” and “has had hardly any breaks in life expect for the very worst kind that can occur”.
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