Man admits rape of boy after drugging him with pain relief substance, court told
In one attack man used oxygen mask to force teenager to inhale drug before sex assault
The court heard that on two occasions the man went to the homes of the victims and picked them up in a car driven by a second man. He then administered the drug by either holding the whistle to the victim’s mouth or holding an oxygen mask to their face. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times
A member of a voluntary paramedic organisation who raped one teenage boy and sexually assaulted another after drugging them with a powerful pain relief substance will be sentenced on Wednesday.
In one attack the 29-year-old used an oxygen mask to force the 15-year-old to inhale the drug before sexually assaulting him. In a second attack the accused raped the unconscious child while another man recorded it on his mobile phone.
The Kildare man, who cannot be named to protect the identify of the victims, pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to oral rape of one boy at a place in Co Laois on May 7th, 2018.
He also admitted meeting the child for the purpose of sexual exploitation and aiding and abetting in the production of child pornography.
He also pleaded guilty to sexual assault and sexual exploitation of another child on May 18th, 2018 at a place in south Dublin and in the Wicklow mountains. Finally he admitted stealing items, including a vial of Penthrox and a carbon dioxide chamber from Naas race course on an unknown date in 2018.
Penthrox is an analgesic used by medical practitioners, the Defence Forces, ambulance paramedics, sports clubs and surf lifesavers to administer emergency pain relief.
It is administered by attaching a vial of the liquid drug to a pipe-like device called a green whistle, which is then used to inhale the drug.
The court heard that on two occasions the man went to the homes of the victims and picked them up in a car driven by a second man. He then administered the drug by either holding the whistle to the victim’s mouth or holding an oxygen mask to their face.
On each occasion the victim was knocked out and awoke to find the man sexually assaulting him.
The court heard that before the assaults the man had carried out internet searches such as “nitrous oxide side effects”, “Penthrox and knock out”, and “how much Methoxyflurane does it take to knock you out”.
Methoxyflurane is the active ingredient in Penthrox, the court heard.
After the complainants came forward the defendant was suspended from the paramedic organisation and suspended from a nursing course he was on. The court heard he had been doing a placement at a national children’s hospital.
Medical evidence was given which stated that Penthrox should not be administered to anyone under the age of 18. The court heard that the whistle device used by the man had been altered so that a filter had been removed.
Dr Aidan McGoldrick said this alteration meant the effects of the pain relief drug would be four times more potent and would cause memory loss.
In a victim impact statement the mother of the second victim said her son was too embarrassed to come to court to give his own statement.
She said since the attack her son has had difficulties in school and had to go to counselling.
She said the night of the assaults will haunt her and her son for the rest of their lives. She said the defendant used his position of responsibility to gain access to controlled drugs in order to carry out horrendous acts of assault against a child.
She asked how the man was able to steal a drug “that should have been locked away”, saying “what if [he had] reacted badly (to the drug) or didn’t come around”.
After hearing evidence Justice Paul McDermott adjourned the case to Wednesday for sentencing.
In a plea of mitigation defence counsel James Dwyer SC said his client expresses regret for his actions and the damage he has done.
He said he accepts completely the victims’ accounts and is not making any case that the victims instigated sexual activity. After his arrest he had told gardaí that one of the boys had initiated the sex and had been coherent at all times.