Boy says father locked him in a box

A child who was allegedly raped by his father and made to have sex with his mother said he did not previously tell gardaí or the trial about his father locking him into a “cage” because he forgot.

The now 12-year-old has spent six days giving evidence via video-link at the Central Criminal Court.

He has alleged his father raped him, sexually abused him with a hot poker, and forced him to have sex with his mother over the course of several years from when he was about six years old.

The father is alleged to have filmed some of these incidents and shown them to others. He is also alleged to have held a gun to the child’s head and locked in a box.

The parents face a total of 82 charges of abuse between 2007 and 2011 in Waterford. They have pleaded not guilty to 16 counts each of sexual exploitation and one charge each of child cruelty. The mother has also denied 16 counts of sexual assault. The father denies 16 counts of anal rape and 16 counts of sexual assault with a poker.

The complainant previously alleged his father had locked him in a wooden box when he was aged six.

Yesterday, he told Colman Cody, defending, he was locked into a second box because the first one “failed”. He said the second box had metal bars and was “cage- like”. He said: “It was exactly the same [as the first box] except it had metal bars for a window. And it was a lot bigger than the last one.”

He told gardaí his father bought the first box at a DIY store and had to assemble it. He said after it “failed” his father burned it. He said the incidents with the two boxes happened on different days. He said he was really scared. He said: “I didn’t get anything to eat or drink.”

He said he thought his father nailed the box shut because he could hear “bang bang bang” on top. He told counsel he did not mention the “cage box” to investigating gardaí or in his evidence last week because he forgot. Asked why, he replied: “Because I’m not perfect. I had something else on my mind.”

He also described escaping from one of the boxes. He said his father put the keys for the box on a desk and left the shed, locking it.

“Luckily the bars of the box were wide enough to put my arm through,” the boy said, before he told the jury he managed to pick a stick up from the floor, which he used to hook the key from the desk. He got the key and using his other hand he managed to unlock the lock.

He said he remembered the box years later while watching a film in which a poacher locks a gorilla into a cage.

The trial continues.


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