A 10-year-old boy repeatedly sexually assaulted by an elderly man tried to commit suicide, a court heard.
At Limerick Circuit Court yesterday, Michael O’Brien, aged 74, of High Meadows, Gouldavoher, Limerick, was jailed for three years after pleading guilty to four charges of sexual assaultand four charges of defilement.
O’Brien, who was 65 when the abuse involving anal and oral sex and masturbation started, was allegedly convinced that he and the boy had a special friendship and what he was doing was OK.
Judge Tom O’Donnell said O’Brien had groomed and manipulated the boy in a cold and cunning way.
The abuse came to light three years ago when the boy developed behavioural problems.
He had to be treated in hospital after he tried to commit suicide.
Judge O’Donnell said that it was an appalling breach of trust by a man in his 60s on a very young boy who he systematically groomed.
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