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27 Jan 2022

Man who sexually abused boy at sports ground in Midlands jailed for nine years

 Man who sexually abused boy at midlands sports ground is jailed for nine years

Man who sexually abused boy at midlands sports ground is jailed for nine years

A man who groomed and sexually abused a boy has been jailed for nine years.

The man (41), who cannot be named for legal reasons, abused the boy over a six-year period. He also beat the boy when he began to refuse his advances. The now 30-year-old victim, who was not in court, does not wish to waive his right to anonymity in the case.

The Central Criminal Court heard the man was extradited from the United States a number of years ago to face the charges, and has been in custody since that date.

The man pleaded guilty to sample counts including attempted rape, seven counts of anal rape, four counts of sexual assault, two counts of assault causing harm and one of harassment at various locations in dates between 2004 and 2010.

The court heard that 71 other charges from the same period are being taken into account for sentencing. The offences took place at locations including the man's home, at a sports grounds in the Midlands and a hotel in Dublin.

Passing sentence today, Justice Michael MacGrath imposed concurrent sentences totally ten and half years having indicated that a headline sentence of 13.5 years would be appropriate in the case.

He said he reduced the sentence by three years having taken into account the man’s plea of guilty, the remorse he has exhibited, a lack of previous convictions and other personal circumstances as outlined in a psychological report before the court, including that he appears to have gained insight into the impact on the victim.

Mr Justice MacGrath imposed concurrent sentences of two and half years for the sexual assault  offences, two years for the assault causing harm offences and three years for the harassment offence.

The final 18 months of the ten-and half-year term was suspended on strict conditions including that the man engage with the Probation Service upon his release from prison. Mr Justice MacGrath ordered that the man undergo two years of post-release supervision. He further ordered that the man have no communication with the victim for a period of 10 years.

At an earlier sentence hearing last July, the man read from his victim impact statement in which he outlined the physical violence he suffered at the hand of the accused in addition to the sexual abuse.

He said the man stole his soul, his innocence and his belief and he suffered a lost childhood. He was left isolated and alone and when he finally refused to be exploited by the man, the accused continued to contact him on a regular basis, harassing and threatening him.

Mr Justice McGrath said the man had groomed the teenager by initially buying him presents and then taking him out for dinner. He would also be in contact with him regularly throughout the day via text messages.

The judge noted that as a result of the abuse the teenager ceased playing a sport in which “he had clearly exhibited great skill and ambition”.

The victim said in his statement that the man grabbed and squeezed him by the wrist, kicked and spat at him and pulled his hair. One such assault happened in a restaurant in front of others, which the judge noted would have been humiliating for the teenager at the time.

The victim was also subjected to threats, which Mr Justice MacGrath said had sinister undertones, with the accused implying he could “bring in people from other parts of the country” to carry out those threats.

The judge said this added to the teenager’s “sense of vulnerability” and the threats escalated to not only serious harm but also that “something worse could happen”.

The teenager outlined how his mental well-being and sleep patterns were affected by the abuse. He contemplated taking his own life, suffered mood swings, depression and a lack of motivation. He was prescribed medication for some time but he didn’t like being on it.

The man said he had problems with trusting people as a result of the abuse and although he has attempted counselling, it has not been successful as it makes him feel vulnerable.

Mr Justice MacGrath said he takes some “solace” in the fact that the man has managed to obtain a masters degree “but not without a struggle”.

He noted that the victim concluded in his statement that “despite everything that happened, he has now faced his adversity” and is looking forward to his future.

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