independent

Thursday 22 August 2019

Jury considering verdict in indecent assault trial

MAN ACCUSED OF 35 OFFENCES OVER 12 YEARS

A JURY is to resume its deliberations today ( Wednesday) in the Circuit Court case of a man accused of abusing a number of children over a period of twelve years.

The defendant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is facing 34 charges of indecent assault and one of sexual assault on children aged between ten and fifteen years between 1981 and 1993. When the trial began last Tuesday, he pleaded not guilty to all.

Evidence was heard from the five alleged victims as the hearing continued throughout last week, and once prosecution evidence was finished, the defendant made a strong denial of any wrongdoing, saying he would rather have died ' than have to sit here and go through this'.

COMPLAINANT ONE

The first alleged victim to address the court told he he had been 'a frightened child'.

The man told how he was brought to the defendant's office when he was twelve years old, after he was caught taking money.

'I was told to empty my pockets, which I did. Some money fell out, along with a red pen. I was asked by the defendant did I want him to deal with it, or should he call all the gardai, or should he call my parents. I said he could deal with it himself. I was nervous and embarrassed. I did not want my parents to know about it,' he said.

' That man then brought me down to another room,' he continued. 'I was told to take down my clothes. He had his hand on my penis. He slapped me on the arse a few times.

'I was crying. He told me to put my clothes back and come back on Monday. I was frightened the whole weekend. I was just 12 years of age at the time,' the man told the court.

'When I called back he told me to take down my clothes. He asked if the bruises on my arse were from the last day. I said they were, and then he told me to put my clothes back on. He then handed me a brush to sweep around the place.

'I remember what that sick man did to me,' he continued. 'Why should I lie? This is not about money, it's about me. All I want is justice.'

He agreed with defence counsel, Mr John O'Kelly, that he had discussed civil proceedings with his solicitor to be brought against the defendant and another party.

When Mr. O'Kelly suggested that the incident never happened and that he (complainant) was after easy money, the witness replied: 'Why should I make something up like this? Why would I lie? I'm not sick. That's the sick man down there. It's not about money all I want is justice. I've never forgotten about that day.'

COMPLAINANT TWO

A SECOND complainant told the court that he did not want the defendant to be in a position ' to do this to other children'.

He told of being taken into the defendant's office, where measurements would be taken of their physical development. He said the door would have been open most of the time, except when their height was being taken, as this would be marked against the back of the door.

On one such occasion he was asked to take down his clothing, and when he asked what this was for, he was told it was to do with ' measuring his development'. The defendant then felt his testicles, his said.

' The only reason I'm sitting here is that I don't want this man to be in a position to do this to other children,' he told Defence Counsel, Mr. David Bulbulia, B.L.

He also said that many years later, he confronted the defendant when speaking to him on the telephone.

'I gave him the opportunity to admit what he had done to me, but he did not,' he said. 'Now I am taking time off work in a job that's not secure, to come to court here. I am doing this to ensure he is not in a position to do this to more children in the future. I had the courage to come up here to the witness box and tell what happened to me.

'I have been dealing with this for the last 20 to 21 years of my life. That's one of the reasons I am here to give evidence'.

When asked if he had brought civil proceedings, the complainant said: 'A small financial reward is only something for what I've been through,' he added.

He also told Mr. Bulbulia that he had no conversation with other people prior to making the complaints.

COMPLAINANT THREE

Another alleged victim told of being locked in the defendant's office and being glued to the spot with fear.

The complainant told of being ordered to go into the office by the defendant, after he was accused of messing.

He said the defendant had a big bunch of keys and locked the door, before telling him he was in serious trouble.

'I was locked in the office after he said I was messing and was in trouble. He was touching himself. He approached me and put his hand inside my clothing and was touching my genitals, while he had his own hand in his genital area too, touching himself.

'I was becoming afraid at that point. I stood in the middle of the office. When he (defendant) was looking at me he was touching himself. He said he would call the gardai. I was scared. He said he would give me a few slaps.

'He approached me and put his hand inside my clothing and was touching my genitals. He also had his other hand in his own genital area, touching himself. He started rubbing my back. He pushed me into his desk, giving me a few slaps.

'At that stage I just managed to get my voice back. I tried to push his hand away but my hands were just too weak. I said I would scream if he did not let me out of here.'

When the defendant said he would have to get the guards, the complainant said 'I don't care, just let me out.' The defendant then opened the door and the incident ended, the complainant said.

'I told my mother he had locked me in the office but I was scared to tell her what else happened. I was too embarrassed. My mother went down and spoke to him,' the witness told the court.

COMPLAINANT FOUR

ANOTHER complainant told the court of the defendant having caught his testicles while in the toilet.

He said he would be brought into the office to have measurements taken of his physical development.

He also told the court that while he was in the toilet he would be ordered to take his clothing down when the defendant would catch him by the testicles.

During cross-examination, he denied that he was making the story up. He said he had instructed his solicitors on the matter.

COMPLAINANT FIVE

A complainant told of being brought into the defendant's office and shown how to masturbate.

He said there would be measurements taken of his physical development, while the defendant would also measure his penis. He also told the court of the defendant showing him how to masturbate but adding that 'nothing would happen as he was too young'. At that stage the defendant would also look at his bottom and pass comments on it.

He said such measurements started being taken when he was about eight years of age.

He denied a suggestion that he later asked the defendant for a job after he left school.

He said that after having children of his own, he made a complaint against the defendant, adding that he had not discussed this with anyone other than his wife and solicitors.

DEFENDANT

THE defendant told the court that he would rather have died than sit here and go through this.

He agreed that measurements were taken to record children's growth, and told the court that initially, such measuring took place in a group situation. However, one of the girls suffered with anorexia, which led to measurements instead being taken individually.

The defendant denied ever taking measurements of any of the complainant's penises. He also denied ever taking the complainants to the other room specified, ever punishing them or sexually interfering with them. He said he was horrified when gardai told him of the allegations being made against him. He suffered from total and absolute shock.

'It never happened to any child. I never physically punished any children in my office or anywhere else. I am totally horrified and confused with the complaints for I just don't know where they are coming from.

'I would have rather died than to have sit here and go through this thing, listening to these false allegations, and having my family put through this. I just cannot understand them or know where they are coming from. I categorically deny all the allegations,' he said.

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