A former sports coach has been jailed for seven years for the abuse of two teenage boys almost four decades ago.
Joseph Mockler (63) of Albert Place, Grand Canal Street, Dublin 2 was found guilty of four counts of indecent assault on dates between January 1987 and December 1988 at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court following a trial.
The two victims were aged between 14 and 16 at the time of the abuse. Both complainants wish to maintain their anonymity, but have indicated they want Mockler to be named.
Imposing sentence on Monday, Judge Elma Sheahan noted the aggravating factors included the persistent nature of the offending and its seriousness, the age disparity, and the use of alcohol. The judge also noted the breach of trust as Mockler was a coach and had used recreational sport “to take advantage of the boys”.
Mockler was a sports coach in Dublin at the time. He was convicted by a jury of two counts of indecent assault in relation to each complainant.
The court has heard Mockler does not accept the jury’s verdicts.
In one instance, Mockler massaged the legs and thighs of the first complainant, then touched his penis. Mockler and the boy were both naked at the time. The court heard this behaviour occurred on more than one occasion.
Mockler masturbated the boy in his flat in another incident. They had been to a pub beforehand and he bought alcohol for the boy.
In relation to the second boy, both charges were representative of offending which included inappropriate touching, masturbating and Mockler performing oral sex on the boy. These incidents took place at Mockler’s flat after both had been drinking at a pub.
Referring to the victim impact statements, Judge Sheahan noted the “generational effects” of this type of offending and how it has impacted the complainants’ families.
She said both men have supportive families and that the court hopes the verdicts will bring them “some ease after all these years”.
She wished them the best for the future.
Judge Sheahan noted that the defence suggested sentencing should be in lower range as it is unknown which acts the jury convicted Mockler for. However, she said the evidence, the persistent nature of the offending and the use of alcohol meant this offending is “serious”.
She further noted that the jury was told to acquit Mockler if they had a reasonable doubt and the jurors did not raise any queries that suggested doubts about certain allegations.
The judge said she took into consideration the mitigating features including Mockler’s previous good character, his work history and the impact of serving a custodial sentence for the first time. Judge Sheahan also noted that Mockler will be added to the sex offenders’ register.
She handed Mockler a sentence of five years in relation to the offences against the first complainant. She also jailed him for five and a half years for the offences against the second complainant, noting the “more prolonged nature of serious offending”. These sentences are to run consecutively.
Judge Sheahan said she would reduce the second sentence to three years to take account of the principles of proportionality and totality. Mockler was handed a global sentence of eight years.
The judge further suspended the final 12 months of the sentence on strict conditions and directed Mockler to place himself under the supervision of the Probation Service for 12 months post-release.