A situation where a 15-year-old male was left to babysit his six- and seven-year-old female cousins, while he was going through sexual development, may have been tolerated 30 years ago, but it would not be tolerated today said Judge Pat McCartan in the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.
A 49-year-old Kilkenny man who indecently assaulted his two cousins 30 years ago when he was 15-years-of age, was given the Probation Act by Judge Pat McCartan in the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.
Detective Garda Bridget Shelly told Ms Karen O’Connor BL, prosecuting, that the two female victims came to the station in December 2003 and made a statement that they had being indecently assaulted by the accused in their aunt’s home in Dublin between the dates of July 5 and July 16, 1974.
The victims who were aged six and seven at the time of the assault, told Garda Shelly that their father had died when they were young, and as a result of this their mother had had to return to work.
While their mother was working, they stayed at their aunt’s house in Dublin where the accused, their cousin, also lived.
In their statements, the two woman said that the accused, who was 15 years old at the time took them up to an upstairs bedroom in their aunt’s house and indecently assaulted them by watching and touching them in a sexual manner.
In passing sentence, Judge Pat McCartan said that the circumstances of this case arose from the unfortunate death of the young girl’s father and their mother having to return to work.
In this situation, the broader family helped out and the children were minded at their aunt's house where the accused lived.
At a time when the accused was going through his own sexual development, he was left in charge of his two young cousins. Judge Pat McCartan said: "Such arrangements would not happen today".
Judge McCartan continued that he had taken into account the fact that the accused was going through his own sexual development when the incident happened; the fact that the incident took place 30 ago; the fact that it took place in a short time space.
The fact that the accused had pleaded guilty and confessed that he wanted to make things right after all these years. And the fact that the accused had never offended again.
Judge McCartan also acknowledged the pain that this assault had caused for the victims and praised them for taking their case.
Ms Iseult O'Malley SC, defending, said the accused was a married father and had being in full employment all his life. He had never come to the attention of the Gardaí.
Ms O’Malley said that the accused had pleaded guilty to the charges. She said that he had always wanted to resolve this issue, and was very remorseful for what had happened.
Ms O’Malley said had that the accused had suffered a nervous breakdown and he had attempted suicide. The accused had no contact with the victims.
He was willing to pay €5,000 in compensation to each of them.