A convicted paedophile who was a highly trusted member of his local community in Cork has been remanded in custody pending sentence for sexually abusing two young boys.
The 69-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his victims, pleaded guilty on the morning of his trial at the Central Criminal Court to three charges of sexual abuse on dates between January 1991 and May 1991, while the boys were aged five and 14 years.
The youngest victim, now 30 years old, said the man lived in a camper van next to his parents’ home. He said he was a friend of his parents and said, “they trusted him so I trusted him”.
In his victim impact statement, he said that the man would entice him into the van with treats and would perform tricks for the children.
This victim was aged five when the man began abusing him by masturbating him and performing oral sex on him.
This went on for a few months until the victim realised it was wrong and he stopped going to his van. The victim was always alone during the assaults.
The second man, now a 40-year old father of four, said the man sexually abused him after asking the then 14-year-old to steer his van home from the pub because he was too drunk to drive. He operated the pedals while the teenager sat on his lap at the steering wheel.
The man ripped open his trousers and molested him, causing the boy to take his hands off the wheel which led to him crashing the van.
Both victims spoke about how the man was very much a trusted man of the community.
“People felt he was so trustworthy they would allow their children alone with him without question,” the older man said in his statement.
“I had looked on him as part of my family. I lost many friendships because we told others what he was like,” the man continued.
Mr Justice Tony Hunt thanked both men for the victim impact statements.
He told the younger man “you have nothing to reproach yourself for, you were a very young child. Hopefully, you will be able to move on and not be overly influenced by it. You can never turn back the clock but you have a life to live.”
Mr Justice Hunt told the second man that the accused’s plea of guilty was “vindication that you were both telling the truth about these matters”.
A local investigating garda told Tim O’Leary, prosecuting, that the younger man made a statement to gardaí in September 2011.
The man was arrested in October 2013 following a Garda investigation and the second victim made a complaint a week later. A file was sent forward to the DPP in relation to both victims but the man had left Ireland.
A European Arrest Warrant was secured and he was located, with the assistance of Interpol, on the Portuguese/Spanish border.
He was arrested by Portuguese police on October 22, 2014, and returned to Ireland in December 2014. He has been remanded in custody since.
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