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Monday 30 January 2023 Dublin: 5°C
PA Archive/Press Association Images
# Waterford
Man who raped his young son and imprisoned him in a box is jailed for 14 years
The man’s partner will be sentenced for child cruelty next week.

A MAN WHO raped his son from the age of six years old and locked him in a box in their Waterford home has been jailed for 14 years.

There was no reaction from the 66-year-old as the sentence was read out at the Central Criminal Court. He continues to deny the offences and has said he will appeal the jury verdict and sentence.

Justice Robert Eagar said the child had “clearly convinced the jury of the spirit of the truth of the allegations.”

The child was taken out of the home by social workers in 2011, just before his eighth birthday and placed in foster care where he was further sexually abused by a child.

In his sentencing remarks the judge said it was not wise to put the boy in the foster home where he was sexually abused. He said it was “quite clear” there was a large amount of sexual abuse occurring in the house.

Justice Eagar imposed a 15 year sentence on the father and suspended the final year. The man has already been registered as a sex offender and will also be subject to a four-year supervision order on his release.

The judge said it was the man’s right to fight the trial and to appeal the verdict but took into account the effect the trial had on the child.

He noted the boy became verbally aggressive before the trial and had trouble sleeping. The boy was not allowed speak to his therapist during the trial because of the rules of evidence.

The judge also noted a psychiatrist’s report which stated child sexual abuse can led to many physical and mental ailments in the future. These risks are increased when the abuse is carried out by the father, he said.

He noted the boy enjoyed some pleasant times with his father but that these were negated by the ongoing abuse.

A jury convicted the father, who is from the UK, of nine counts of raping his son from the age of six years old and one count of child cruelty. He was acquitted of raping the child with a poker.

His 38-year-old partner, who is also from the UK, was convicted of child cruelty but found not guilty of sex assault relating to allegations she had sex or simulated sex with her child when he was between six and seven. She will be sentenced next week.

Both parents had pleaded not guilty to the offences which occurred between 2009 and 2011 in their home. The parents had originally faced a total of 82 charges but 60 of these were withdrawn following legal argument.

Criminal Courts of Justice opening Dublin PA Archive / Press Association Images PA Archive / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

‘Dispose myself’ 

In a victim impact statement read to the court, the now 13 year old boy wrote that “when I lived with my mam and dad I wanted to dispose myself of this world, I wanted to commit suicide.”

It wasn’t until he was taken into foster care that his childhood started, he wrote.

The boy is currently in specialised care in the UK. He wrote that when he first arrived in the UK he asked to be called by a different name because he was worried his father would find him.

He referred to his father as “Adolf Hitler” and said he wanted to “run him over with a combine harvester”.

“Words have not even been invented yet for what my dad has done to me,” he wrote.

A psychological report stated the child is two years behind in school and has difficulties forming relationships.

Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, were forced to put him in specialised residential care in the UK as no suitable place was available in Ireland.

The psychologist said he was displaying highly sexualised behaviour but this has improved over time.

The boy described one occasion where his father was assembling a wooden box. He asked his father what it was for and the father replied “it’s for you” before pushing him in. The boy was in there for three or four hours before his mother released him.

The defence submitted this comprised the child cruelty charge. However the prosecution contended the charge encompassed a wider “catalogue of horror” including showing the boy pornographic material.

Read: “I wanted to dispose of myself” – victim impact statement of son who was raped and imprisoned in a box by father >


Declan Brennan and Conor Gallagher