An 80-year-old Cork man confessed to sexually assaulting a 12-year-old boy at his antique shop and firearms store in the 1970s.
Yesterday, the victim spoke at Cork Circuit Criminal Court of the devastation of the crime on his life and said he “never had peace of mind in my head” since.
With a faltering voice, the victim struggled to remain composed to tell Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin of how he suffered at the hands of Patrick Bassett, who sexually assaulted him in various ways, including acts of masturbation.
“After the first time Bassett abused me, I will never forget running to get home but when I got there, I just had my dinner as usual and went out to my friends,” said the victim.
“ I could not find a way to say what happened to me. When I was growing up, my father and mother worked hard and there was little time for much else, and I felt my shame would become their shame so I kept it to myself.
“Working with Bassett, I always found it intimidating in that he always had a loaded pump-action shotgun in the workshop which was always in view by the door. He used to always have a hunting type knife around his waist.
“He also had a large gun which he called an elephant gun and used to make his own ammunition for this. He used to show off to friends the damage it could do when he fired it at walls and other targets he would use.
“My abuse stopped when I finally got the courage to tell my mother I would not work for Bassett anymore. There was a heated argument and I finally shouted out that Bassett was at me. It ended just like that. Silence, never spoken of again, except to be told some time after that my father had dealt with Bassett.
“I live with this all my teenage and adult life. I have never had peace of mind in my head. Bassett and his abuse is always in the shadows.
“It has damaged me in ways that are too late for me to put right. I have always accepted second best in life. I do not expect anything good in my life. I have made work my life, it’s my escape.
“Paddy Bassett took my trust in people, and I have lived all my adult life.”
Bassett, of The Farmhouse, Sarsfield Court, Glanmire, Co Cork, was remanded in custody for sentencing on November 17.
Sergeant Annamarie Guiney said Bassett was questioned about several counts of indecent assault and at first made no comment. Later, he pleaded guilty to the charges.
He is serving a four-year sentence for similar offences against two other boys at his shop. When that case was reported, the mother of the victim in the present case rang and said to her son he was right about Bassett all along.
The victim recalled that day yesterday. “Simple as that, after a lifetime, you were right all along,” he said. “I rang the guards and told them my story and now I’m here and he pleaded guilty at the last minute.”
A book of evidence was prepared and he was returned for trial by judge and jury to the first day of the county sessions of Cork Circuit Criminal Court yesterday. John Devlin, defending, described the poor health of the accused at this stage.
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