A child who was repeatedly raped by his father and locked in a box wanted to take his own life at the age of seven because of the abuse, a court has heard.
Yesterday, the Central Criminal Court heard a summary of what the prosecution called a “catalogue of horrors” which took place over a two-year period in the family home in Waterford.
Mr Justice Robert Eager remanded the father in custody until October 10, when he will finalise sentence.
A jury convicted the 64-year-old father, who is from Britain, of nine counts of raping his son from the age of six years old and one count of child cruelty. He was acquitted of raping the child with a poker.
The man’s partner, also from Britain, was convicted on one count of child cruelty and will be sentenced on October 17.
She was found not guilty of sex assault relating to allegations that she had sex or simulated sex with her child when he was between six and seven.
Both parents had pleaded not guilty to the offences which occurred between 2009 and 2011 in their home. The parents had originally faced a total of 82 charges but 60 of these were withdrawn following legal argument.
In a victim impact statement read to the court, the now 13-year-old boy wrote that “when I lived with my mam and dad I wanted to dispose myself of this world, I wanted to commit suicide”. It was not until he was taken into foster care that his childhood started, he wrote.
The boy is now in specialised care in Britain. He wrote that when he first arrived in Britain he asked to be called by a different name as he feared his father would find him. He referred to his father as “Adolf Hitler” and said he wanted to “run him over with a combine harvester”.
“Words have not even been invented yet for what my dad has done to me,” said the boy. “I want to say au revoir to my memories. I would like my dad never to leave prison. I am happy when he is in prison. Now that dad is locked up I would walk over to Ireland without a care in the world.”
He was removed from the family home in 2011 and placed in a foster home, where he was sexually abused by another child, who was never prosecuted as he was below the age of criminal responsibility.
In March 2012, he was moved to another foster home where he was very happy. He began disclosing the sexual abuse by his father to this foster mother, who documented it and handed it over to gardaí.
This foster mother “loved the child to bits”, the court heard but was forced to give up care of him because he was displaying disturbing behaviour — spying on her in the shower, acting inappropriately with other children, and obsessed with faeces.
Defence counsel Colman Cody SC said his client intends to appeal the conviction and does not agree with the jury’s verdict. He said the man has six previous convictions for theft and drink driving but none for violent or sexual offences.
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