Man convicted of child cruelty and indecent assault of stepsons

Victims said accused used them as ‘sexual pawns’ and treated them ‘worse than a dog’

A man has been found guilty of indecent assault and child cruelty relating to the repeated sexual and physical abuse of his two stepsons in Co Wicklow more than 30 years ago.

A man has been found guilty of indecent assault and child cruelty relating to the repeated sexual and physical abuse of his two stepsons in Co Wicklow more than 30 years ago.

 

A man has been found guilty of indecent assault and child cruelty relating to the repeated sexual and physical abuse of his two stepsons in Co Wicklow more than 30 years ago.

A jury also convicted the man, an English national who cannot be named in order to protect the identity of his victims, on a separate charge of animal cruelty.

Evidence was heard that the accused (66) tied a pet dog to a railway track and forced his two stepsons to watch the animal being run over by a train as punishment for allowing it to escape.

The jury returned verdicts after just over an hour of deliberation at the end of a five-day trial at Wicklow Circuit Criminal Court sitting in Trim, Co Meath.

The man, whose last known address was in the west of Ireland, had pleaded not guilty to 12 charges of indecent assault against each of his two stepsons and seven charges of child cruelty on each of his victims on dates between December 1st, 1988 and May 31st, 1989 at their home in Co Wicklow.

Two other charges of indecent assault relating to forcing the two victims to abuse each other were withdrawn during the trial.

‘Tragic case’

Judge Martina Baxter described the trial as “a very sad, difficult and tragic case”. The court was told that their mother had “turned a blind eye to everything”.

The two victims were eight at the time of the offences. Both gave evidence that their stepfather regularly forced them to perform sexual acts with him and that physical beatings were carried out on a daily basis with “a big brown belt with a big buckle and a truncheon-like stick”.

One victim claimed their stepfather had regarded him and his twin brother as “sexual pawns” while he treated them “worse than a dog”.

The trial heard the sexual and physical abuse continued after the family moved to Ireland from Britain in 1988 and only stopped after a teacher noticed bruising on one of the boys, after which they were placed in a foster home.

Evidence was also heard that the accused had forced his stepsons to have sex with other men who were described as “uncles” at a house near their home in Co Wicklow.

Judge Baxter ordered victim impact statements to be prepared and remanded the man in custody to appear for sentencing on October 5th.