A boy who was allegedly sexually abused with a hot poker by his father only disclosed the allegations when he was in foster care where his father couldn't find him, a trial has heard.
The now 12 year old child alleges his father raped him, sexually abused him with a hot poker and forced him to have sex with his mother in their Waterford home over the course of several years from when he was about six years old.
The man is also alleged to have held a gun to the child's head and to have left him locked in a box.
His parents face a total of 82 charges of abuse between 2007 and 2011 in Waterford. The father and mother have pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to 16 counts each of sexual exploitation and one charge each of child cruelty.
The mother has also denied 16 counts of sexual assault while the father denies 16 counts of anal rape and 16 counts of sexual assault with a poker.
On his third day giving evidence the child said he was taken into care by a foster family when he was eight years old. It was when he went to a second foster family that he started making allegations of sexual abuse against his father.
He told Pauline Walley SC, prosecuting, he discussed the allegations about the poker with his new foster mother. When asked why he felt able to tell her this, the child replied “because I knew my dad didn't know where I was.”
He said this made a “big difference to him” and that “because he wasn't there I could get on with my life as it should be.”
He said he was happy with this foster mother because “I knew I was in a safe place and she was nice and wasn't horrible like my dad.”
The child said his foster mother didn't use “foul” language like his father. He told Ms Walley that his father used to say things like “this boy is an asshole” or “screw you, you piece of shit.”
Counsel for the father, Colman Cody SC, began his cross-examination by asking the boy about the toys he owned. The boy agreed his father had got him several electric toy vehicles which he could drive as well as a slide and an inflatable swimming pool.
He agreed he had a lot of fun playing with his cars and that his friends did not have similar toys.
He said his father and mother would buy him DVDs and that his mother used to read him bedtime stories. Asked if his father read to him, the boy replied “probably when I was a baby.”
Towards the end of the day's evidence the boy asked Mr Cody: “How many days more do we have to do this?
“I'm not being rude or anything but I have an awful lot better things to do than this.”
Mr Cody replied that his cross-examination could take several more days. The child will then be cross-examined by the mother's barrister.
The trial continues with the boy's evidence tomorrow/today (FRI) before Mr Justice Robert Eagar and a jury.