Man claims nephews made abuse claims over cash

A middle-aged man told a jury yesterday he never sexually assaulted his two nephews and claimed they made the complaints because he did not give them money.

The accused was in the witness box at Cork Circuit Criminal Court yesterday.

“There was always hints for money… I have a certain amount of money and they know it,” he testified.

The defendant went on trial on Wednesday on a total of 30 counts of sexually assaulting his two nephews. Following legal arguments in the absence of the jury yesterday, the seven women and five men returned to be told they were now to deliberate on four counts of sexual assault, one in relation to one nephew and three in relation to the other.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said the prosecution was entering a nolle prosequi on six charges, essentially withdrawing those counts. The judge directed the jury to find the accused not guilty in respect of all but four of the remaining charges.

Judge Ó Donnabháin told the jury: “What you have to consider is a slimmed down, shortened indictment with four counts. The case will be going on before you, boiled down to four counts.”

He told them not to speculate on why the other 26 counts were no longer before them. “If you want to speculate, go to Thurles and put a fiver on the Maiden Hurdle. It is nothing to do with you.”

One of the complainants testified that following his circumcision at the age of six, his uncle asked him to pull down his pants so that he (the defendant) could see it. He said the accused touched it some years later to see how it was growing and on a later occasion touched the boy’s penis through his pants.

The defendant denied all of these charges with the words: “No, I did not.”

The other nephew said the defendant put his penis in his mouth for about 10 seconds on some occasion in 2006. The complainant said he did not.

Alice Fawsitt, defending, said the defendant had mental health problems and had been diagnosed with psychosis and schizophrenia.

“In my submission, you cannot reach a stage where you are satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that he is guilty beyond reasonable doubt,” Ms Fawsitt told the jury.

Judge Ó Donnabháin told the jury: “You are the judges, I am sitting here like a cherry on a cake.”

The jury will deliberate on their verdicts today.

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