Child rapist who failed to show in court jailed for seven years

Anthony Moynihan (54) from Midleton had been sentenced in his absence last week


A Cork man who was sentenced in his absence last week to seven years in prison for raping and sexually assaulting an 11-year-old boy over a period of two years has been jailed.

Anthony Moynihan (54) of Croccane, Rostellan, Midleton was sentenced in his absence after he failed to appear at the Central Criminal Court last Friday.

Mr Justice Michael White sent Moynihan to prison after he was brought into court on Monday following the execution of a warrant which had been issued last week.

During the sentencing last week, Mr Justice White condemned the “brutal” abuse inflicted on the victim Dylan Higgins, who previously waived his right to anonymity so that Moynihan could be named.

At an earlier hearing, Mr Higgins (23) 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 died in 2016 before he could disclose the crimes to her.

Dylan Higgins waived his right to anonymity so his rapist, Anthony Moynihan (54), could be named. Photograph: Collins Courts
Dylan Higgins waived his right to anonymity so his rapist, Anthony Moynihan (54), could be named. Photograph: Collins Courts

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 September 9th, 2006 and June 27th, 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 did not 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.

The 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.

Mr Higgins reported the abuse to Detective Garda Rachael McGrath in 2017.

She told Tim O’Leary SC, prosecuting that Mr Higgins was under the care of the Probation Service in 2017 when he told his officer that he was struggling due to the fact that he had been sexually abused as a child.

The officer reported it to the gardaí ­ and Det Garda McGrath approached Mr Higgins to make a statement of complaint.

Moynihan was arrested in July 2017 and made full admissions.

Det Garda McGrath said Moynihan had a long history of alcohol abuse and would have come to Garda attention for drunkenness and public order offences.

She agreed with Thomas Creed SC, defending, that his client had had both his larynx and thyroid removed due to his cancer diagnosis which had affected his ability to communicate. He also had to be fed via a tube.

Mr Creed handed in a number of medical reports and said his client had a 50/50 chance of the cancer re-occurring and if that happened there was no chance of a cure.

Counsel said Moynihan has not committed further offences since 2010 and said a probation report now states he is at a lower risk of re-offending because of his ill-health.