Former scout leader pleads guilty to indecent assault of three boys

David O’Brien (67) before court over offences during camping trips in Co Wicklow in 1970s

O’Brien appeared frail but gave a clear ‘guilty’ when arraigned on the charges. Photograph: Frank Miller

O’Brien appeared frail but gave a clear ‘guilty’ when arraigned on the charges. Photograph: Frank Miller

 

A former Dublin scout leader and convicted sexual abuser has pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting three young boys in the 1970s.

David O’Brien (67) appeared before Dublin Circuit Criminal Court in a wheelchair on Tuesday, where he pleaded guilty to four counts of indecently assaulting three boys under the age of 15 between January 1972 and December 1978.

The offences took place in Larch Hill and Roundwood, Co Wicklow, and in an unknown location.

O’Brien, with an address on Benburb Street, Dublin, pleaded guilty last week to three counts of indecently assaulting two of the same boys in Powerscourt, Co Wicklow, and in two unknown locations between January 1976 and December 1978.

Reporting restrictions were temporarily put in place last week ahead of a possible trial but they were lifted today by order of Judge Karen O’Connor.

O’Brien, who is currently in custody, appeared frail but gave a clear “guilty” when arraigned on the charges in court.

He was jailed for 4½ years in October 2015 for sexually abusing six young boys on camping trips in the late 1970s and 1980s.

Defence barrister Padraig Dwyer SC told the court that certain matters in the case were still in dispute. He told the court they were working towards resolving those issues ahead of sentencing.

Judge Karen O’Connor adjourned the matter for hearing on Thursday.

Dominic McGinn SC, prosecuting, said the sentence matter could take up to a day.