Jury in Munster child abuse trial sent home for weekend

Deliberations in case against children’s parents, aunt and uncles began on Thursday

The jury in a nine-week child abuse trial has been sent home for the bank holiday weekend and will resume their deliberations on Tuesday.

The jury in a nine-week child abuse trial has been sent home for the bank holiday weekend and will resume their deliberations on Tuesday.

 

The jury in a nine-week child abuse trial has been sent home for the bank holiday weekend and will resume their deliberations on Tuesday.

Mr Justice Paul McDermott gave the direction just after lunch on Friday after one of the jurors was taken ill. He said he would hopefully see them all again after the weekend.

The jury has been deliberating since Thursday and were told there is no restriction on time and to return their verdicts based on the evidence before them.

The five family members, who cannot be named for legal reasons, are accused of abusing three children between 2014 and 2016. The accused are the parents, aunt and uncles of the children. They range in ages from 27 to 56 and live in various locations in Munster.

The parents are also accused of neglecting five of their children. All of the accused have denied the charges against them. Reporting restrictions are in place to protect the welfare and identities of the children.

The 56-year-old father has pleaded not guilty to 34 counts including rape, sexual assault, sexual exploitation and wilfully neglecting a child at locations in Munster on unknown dates between August 18th, 2014 and April 28th, 2016. An additional three counts against him were withdrawn during the trial.

The 34-year-old mother has pleaded not guilty to 25 counts including sexual assault, sexual exploitation and wilfully neglecting a child at locations in Munster on unknown dates between August 18th, 2014 and April 28th, 2016.

Wilfull neglect

The mother and father have also pleaded not guilty to wilfully neglecting another two of their children at a location in Munster on unknown dates between August 18th, 2014 and April 28th, 2016.

A woman (35) – the children’s aunt — has pleaded not guilty to three counts, including sexually assaulting the girl and sexually assaulting one of the boys at locations in Munster on unknown dates between August 18th, 2014 and April 28th, 2016.

Her 49-year-old husband has pleaded not guilty to 10 counts including rape, sexual assault and sexual exploitation at locations in Munster on unknown dates between August 18th, 2014 and April 28th, 2016. Two additional counts were withdrawn during the trial.

A 27-year-old man – the children’s uncle — has pleaded not guilty to 10 counts including rape, sexual assault and sexual exploitation at locations in Munster on unknown dates between August 18th, 2014 and April 28th, 2016.

A count of alleged sexual exploitation by him of the eldest boy was withdrawn by order of the trial judge.

The case against two other women – the children’s uncle’s 32-year-old partner and their 57-year-old grandmother – was withdrawn earlier in the trial by direction of the judge.