Two boys were sexually abused by an older teenager who told one of them that he would do the same to his sisters if he reported the abuse to his parents.
Gerard O’Grady also told the boy he would urinate all over the boy’s house and blame the boy for doing it if he told his parents.
He told the other victim he was ugly and useless and nobody would believe him.
He was jailed for four years at Cork Circuit Criminal Court yesterday.
Each victim thanked his wife for standing by him after years of suffering from this abuse. They both felt their confidence was shaken by what was done to them. It was only in 2016 that they felt able to approach gardaí and make the complaints against O’Grady, who now lives at 55 Deerpark, Bandon, Co Cork.
The abuse was carried at another location in Co Cork on two boys who were not related to him.
Sgt Katrine Tansley said the abuse dated to the mid-1980s when the victims were aged around 10 or older and O’Grady was aged 16 to 18.
The first victim said he trusted O’Grady and that, as a result of being abused, he lost his self-confidence and withdrew from sport which he used to love playing.
“I always had problems standing up for myself,” he said. “I often wonder how my life would be if I hadn’t been abused. Would I be a better man? A better husband? I want to spend the rest of my life thanking my wife for her support.”
The second victim said O’Grady silenced and controlled him, often walking around the house with his penis exposed when they were alone. The victim feels, looking back on it, that O’Grady was normalising everything he was doing.
He said he was very good at school as a child but did not go to college and threw it all away. He had suicidal thoughts.
“One minute I was playing football on the street and everything was normal, the next minute I was lying on the floor being sexually abused,” he said. “I would like to thank my wife. Without her, I would not be standing here today.”
O’Grady, now 53, got into the witness box and apologised to the victims.
“At the age of 16, I did not recognise or understand what I was doing to you,” he said. “Not until five or six years later that I had any understanding. I had buried what I had done but it never left me fully. It was always in my thoughts, always on my conscience.
“I am angry with my 16-year-old self. I regret with every fibre of my being what I did to you. I cannot undo what happened. I do not have the words to say how badly I feel about what I have done.”
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said these crimes were at the higher end of indecent assault. He said they were gross and had a degree of depravity, making threats, dominating and bullying the victims. Against that, he said there was a genuine apology which distinguished itself from trite apologies often heard in court.
The judge sentenced him to six years, with the last two years suspended.
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