Man sues over alleged abuse 70 years ago

A 76-year-old man is suing an 86-year-old man who he says sexually abused him seven decades ago, the High Court has heard.

Man sues over alleged abuse 70 years ago

A 76-year-old man is suing an 86-year-old man who he says sexually abused him seven decades ago, the High Court has heard.

It is claimed the 76-year-old confronted the defendant in 2013 and he admitted the abuse.

The defendant denies all claims or that he admitted to it when they met in 2013.

Today, the defendant asked the court to dismiss the case on the grounds of a 60-year delay before the action was taken and further delay afterwards. The court heard the defendant is ill and may have to give evidence by deposition or video link.

Mr Justice Charles Meenan reserved his decision.

The plaintiff claims the abuse occurred between 1949 and 1952 when the defendant was in his teens and the plaintiff was around eight years of age.

It is claimed the boys' fathers were good friends and the defendant, who worked in his father's business, visited the alleged victim's home on a weekly basis. He took the young boy to a disused building used by his father for storage where the sexual assault and false imprisonment occurred, it is claimed.

The abuse only ended when the plaintiff's father died in 1952 and the family moved away from where they had lived.

He says he was suffering a psychological impediment as a result of the abuse which meant he could not have taken the action sooner. The defendant was a well-known member of the local community, it is claimed.

He says as soon as he confronted the defendant in summer 2013, when he says the abuse was admitted, he contacted a solicitor and then was assessed by a psychiatrist.

John D Fitzgerald SC, for the defendant, argued events of 60 to 70 years ago cannot be the subject of a trial now and his side had found no precedent case for that kind of delay between when something happened and when somebody sued over it.

David Sutton SC, for the plaintiff, said no culpable delay had been shown by his client and once that "goes out the window" the defendant had to show prejudice which he failed to do other than saying it was a matter of common sense. He urged the court to reject the application to dismiss.

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