A father-of-three has been jailed for five years for the sexual abuse of a 12-year-old boy over 25 years ago after he made the child believe that he wanted a relationship with him.
Alan Lyons, 38, first revealed that he had been abused by Dirk Jager, 57, while attending psychological services in prison, where he is serving a life sentence for murder.
He waived his anonymity so Jager's identity could be published.
Jager of Sandybanks, Manor Kilbride, Blessington, Co Wicklow, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to three charges of sexual assault and three charges of gross indecency on dates between December 1992 and December 1997.
Alan Lyons was aged between 12 and 17 at the time, while Jager was 31 when the abuse started.
Jager has a previous conviction for sexual assault from 1997 which involved the abuse of a child in the mid 90s.
Sergeant Ken Holohan told Fionnuala O'Sullivan BL, prosecuting, that Lyons was jailed for life in 2000 after he was convicted of murder following a fatal stabbing in 1998.
He began attending psychological services in prison during which he revealed that he had been abused as a child.
When gardaí visited him in Wheatfield Prison to take a statement he told them “I was a kid and I never told him to stop. He just made me believe this was what I wanted to do”.
The court heard that the victim and his friends began visiting Jager's business in Dublin city and Jager would take photographs of them in their swimming togs.
He later began sexually assaulting the child and this escalated to acts of full penetrative sex.
Reading his victim impact statement in court Jager said he had such a low opinion of himself at the time.
“My family knew something was wrong but I couldn't tell them.”
He said he started to mix with people in drugs and criminality and said he felt safer with these peers “than my secret being exposed”.
Lyons described feeling “dirty and vulnerable”. He said Jager took away his innocence, his hopes and ambitions.
“I was just something to use and abuse,” but Lyons said he had since decided he was never going to be a victim again.
I struggled with my sexual identity. I was lonely and scared but all I could do was rage. My view of the world and people became so skewed.
"If anyone tried to help, I looked on them with suspicion,” Lyons told the court.
In a letter from Jager to the victim, read by his lawyer James Dwyer SC, Jager expressed his regret.
“I cannot ask for forgiveness as I cannot forgive myself,” the letter continued. He offered his “unreserved apology” and hoped that the victim could “find peace”.
Mr Dwyer said his client is originally from the Netherlands and has owned a staging company for a number of years.
He is currently on anti-depressants after counsel said Jager made “a serious attempt on his own life” in June 2018.
Judge Melanie Greally imposed a total sentence of six years but suspended the final year for five years on condition Jager engage with the Probation Service on the issue of risk management.
She said she was taking all of Jager's assertions of remorse and insight with a grain of salt.
Abuse 'was full on before he came of age'
Lyons told gardaí he was 12-years-old when he and friends began attending the yard Jager ran his business from to earn “a few bob”.
Jager later took them into a hut he had there to show them how he had set up a dark room for developing photographs.
He later began taking photographs of the boys, asking them to take their tops off in some situations and then instructing them to pose in their swimming trunks.
Lyons began to visit Jager without his friends and Jager continued to take photographs of the teenager.
He then began asking the boy to pose naked.
Sgt Holohan said Lyons told gardaí he was having trouble at home at the time and he felt safe with Jager.
He said their relationship developed into a sexual one during which they performed oral sex on each other and Jager would have sex with him.
“It was full on before he came of age,” Sgt Holohan told Ms Sullivan.
Jager and Lyons also visited a number of B&Bs around the country while Jager was working erecting staging and Jager sexually assaulted the victim on each of these visits.
Sgt Holohan said Lyons turned 17 in April 1998 and their last meeting was in the summer of 1998.
Jager was arrested and interviewed in January 2017 and made full admissions.
Sgt Holohan agreed with Mr Dwyer that there are no ongoing investigations into Jager and that although his own daughters were interviewed by social services following his arrest, “there has been no attempt with authorities to interfere with the family set up”.
Judge Greally noted that Lyons described how his lack of self worth caused him to gravitate towards people in criminality and away from those who cared about him.
She said he made a decision never to be a victim and developed a capacity for extreme violence.
She said that the abusive behaviour at such a sensitive and formative age must have had a profound influence on his personal development.
The judge noted that Jager continued to sexually assault Lyons even after he pleaded guilty in June 1997 to a similar sexual assault.
She said that, having read disclosures made by Jager to the Probation Services, she was giving little or no weight to his expressions of remorse.
Judge Greally set a headline sentence of five years for the sexual assaults, which come with a maximum sentence of five years.
She reduced this to three-and-a-half years after taking into consideration the mitigating factors such as Jager's plea of guilty, the passage of time since the offending, his wife's health difficulties, and his work history.
The judge also noted the toll the case had had on Jager's family and on his own health, specifically noting his suicide attempt.
Along with consecutive sentences for the offences of gross indecency she set a total sentence of six years but suspended the final year for five years on condition Jager engage with the Probation Services for one year.
A letter from Jager's wife described the effect the prosecution had had on their family and paid tribute to the “sensitivity” of the investigating garda in dealing with the case.