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Dublin: 9°C Tuesday 18 January 2022

Man (54) sentenced to seven years in prison for raping 11-year-old boy

Anthony Moynihan of Croccane, Rostellan, Midleton was sentenced in his absence after he failed to appear at the Central Criminal Court today.

Image: PA Archive/PA Images

A 54-YEAR-old Corkman has been sentenced to seven years in prison for raping and sexually assaulting an 11-year-old boy over the period of two years.

Anthony Moynihan of Croccane, Rostellan, Midleton was sentenced in his absence after he failed to appear at the Central Criminal Court today.

Counsel for Moynihan said he took the train to Dublin this morning to attend the hearing and was spotted in the vicinity of the court building but was later seen heading back towards Heuston Station.

A bench warrant was issued for his arrest which gardaí said would hopefully be executed over the weekend.

Mr Justice Michael White condemned the “brutal” abuse inflicted on the victim, 23-year-old Dylan Higgins, who previously waived his right to anonymity so that Moynihan could be named.

At an earlier hearing, Higgins read his own victim impact statement aloud in court and urged other abuse victims to come forward as “it may save lives”.

Mr Justice White paid tribute to Mr Higgins for his “tremendous courage” in reporting the abuse, giving his statement to gardaí and delivering a “very moving” statement in court outlining the severe impact the abuse had had on him.

The court heard Mr Higgins had attempted suicide twice and was greatly saddened that his mother had passed away in 2016 before he could disclose the crimes to her.

Mr Higgins concluded his victim impact statement saying: “I urge people who were abused to come forward, it may save lives.” He added that he now wanted to get on with his life because he had “carried this for too long”.

Moynihan pleaded guilty to two charges of anal rape and two counts of sexually assaulting Mr Higgins on dates between 9 September 2006 and 27 June 2008.

The court heard that Mr Higgins, who was aged 11 and 12 at the time, called three times to Moynihan’s home because he knew the man would give him cigarettes. After the first incident of rape, Mr Higgins discarded his underwear as it was blood-stained and he didn’t want anyone to find out about the rape.

The second incident of rape took place when he returned to Moynihan’s home a number of months later and the man asked the boy if he would have sex with him. Mr Higgins refused and complained that he had been left bleeding the last time Moynihan raped him.

The man then brought the boy into the bathroom on the pretence of applying cream to his bottom but instead raped him.

Moynihan has three previous convictions for sexually assaulting two young girls in 2008 and 2009 for which he received a suspended sentence. Again, these girls had gone to Moynihan’s home together on the understanding that he would give them cigarettes.

Mr Justice White said Moynihan’s guilty plea was very important as he had made full admissions to gardaí early on. He said another mitigating factor was that Moynihan was suffering from throat cancer.

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Sonya McLean and Jessica Magee

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