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Dublin: 3 °C Tuesday 25 February, 2020

71-year-old jailed for six years for grooming and sexually abusing teenage nephew

The judge said the sentence would have been considerably higher if it were not for the man’s advanced age.

Image: Sam Boal/

A HIGHLY-EDUCATED man who took advantage of his elevated family status to sexually abuse his nephew has been jailed for six years for his “exceptionally obnoxious conduct”.

The 71-year-old Dublin man, who can’t be named for legal reasons, pleaded not guilty to indecently and sexually assaulting his nephew between 1989 and 1991, when the boy was aged between 15 and 17 years old.

The charges were brought against him on a sample basis, the court heard.

He was found guilty by a Central Criminal Court jury of five counts of indecent assault and one count of sexual assault.

The man is currently serving an eight-year sentence for similar offences against another boy during the same period. He has 42 previous convictions, including sexual assault, rape and indecent assault.

Sentencing the man to eight years with the final two years suspended today, Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy said the sentence would have been considerably higher were it not for the man’s advanced age.

He said the offences were “exacerbated by virtue of the fact that the uncle was in a position of exceptional authority and standing in the family”.

The judge noted an element of grooming was involved, which included the uncle showing the boy pornographic videos. He also tried to persuade his nephew to have anal intercourse with him.

It was “exceptionally obnoxious conduct”, Mr Justice McCarthy said.

The court previously heard that the man was highly educated and was looked up to by his extended family members as a result.

He lived with his elderly mother in Dublin and his nephew was regularly sent over to the house to help out and do odd jobs. The teenager shared a bedroom with his uncle on these visits.

Detective Sergeant Brian Grealy told prosecution barrister, Garnet Orange SC, that on the first occasion the boy stayed over in the house, his uncle showed him pornography.

On subsequent visits, his uncle regularly engaged in sexual misconduct with the boy, which included touching him and performing oral sex on him.

The victim, now a 42-year-old father-of-two, said the man used his education and expertise to “silence and belittle” him during the trial, which he said was a “traumatic” experience.

During the trial, the man took the stand and told the jury his nephew had fabricated the allegations.

The victim said he felt powerless when his uncle accused him of lying.

“I was furious that he suggested that what I was saying was a lie and that the abuse was a figment of my imagination,” he said. “I feel my character was called into question.”

He said the jury’s verdict provided some relief.

“But I still have to live with what he did to me,” he said. “He took years of my life away, years I will never get back.”

The victim said his abuser was well-respected in the family and this prevented him from coming forward about the abuse for years.

My mother and father looked up to him. He knew I was a quiet and shy boy and he took advantage of me.

The man said his mother still felt guilty for sending him over to his uncle’s house and that he did not have a close relationship with her as a result of the abuse.

He said his relationship with his wife and children also suffered and that he was extremely over-protective of his kids.

Read: Man with 160 convictions accused of claiming to be undercover Garda to rob man on Dublin bridge

Read: Garda was removed from task force due to relationship with woman from criminal family, court hears

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Isabel Hayes

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