Boxing coach gets eight years for raping youth he trained

Tue, Jun 19, 2012, 01:00

ONE OF the State’s most successful amateur boxing coaches has been sentenced to eight years in jail, with two years suspended, for raping a teenage boy he trained.

Frank Mulligan (66) is serving two lengthy sentences for the buggery and sexual abuse of seven other young boys over a 13-year period.

Mr Justice Paul Carney said he was sure Mulligan would reoffend if he got the opportunity but said he could not take this into account when sentencing because it would be overturned in the Court of Criminal Appeal.

Mr Justice Carney said he took into account the gravity of the offences and their effect on the victim. He ordered that Mulligan have no contact with the victim or have anything to do with sports clubs on his release. He further ordered that he undergo 18 months post-release supervision.

Mulligan, Mulladuff, Smithboro, Co Monaghan, pleaded guilty to two counts of rape of a 14-year-old boy between February and March 1998.

Garda Seán Grant told Frank Martin, prosecuting, that Mulligan groomed and encouraged the young boxer while coaching him. Mulligan praised the teenager as “the next white hope” and said he would be “the next world champion”.

The Central Criminal Court heard Mulligan gave the boy massages and told him if he wanted to be a great boxer he would have to go along with the abuse that followed.

After training sessions, the boxing coach would bring the youth back to his home where he raped him on two occasions.

On the second occasion the young boy “freaked out” and struggled against Mulligan to get free. He was then given about £80 to buy clothes.

On another occasion, Mulligan brought the boy to a graveyard where they prayed at a woman’s grave. He then told the boy to undress so he could be “purified”, before abusing him.

All of his previous victims were connected with the boxing gym and followed a similar pattern of abuse and grooming.

The latest victim, who is now a grown man with a son of his own, said the abuse had had a “devastating effect” on his life. He fought back tears as he read from a victim impact statement and broke down crying a number of times.

He said he struggled with feelings of shame, guilt and anger as well as suffering from flashbacks and nightmares. He had become dependent on alcohol to help cope with the aftermath of the abuse and had considered suicide.

Garda Grant told Paul Greene SC, defending, that Mulligan made full admissions of guilt and had co-operated with gardaí.

Mr Martin said his client wanted to apologise to his victim. Mulligan struggled with chronic alcohol addiction and depression as a result of his actions. He said Mulligan was trying to get fit and re-engage with his love of sport, but in an adult environment to avoid temptation to abuse again.

Mulligan is serving a 6½-year sentence for the buggery and sexual assault of five other teenage boys.

In 2008, he was jailed for seven years for the sexual abuse of two other boys under similar circumstances.