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Child rapist arrested in Cork after failing to appear in court

Anthony Moynihan (54), detained on foot of bench warrant, given 7-year sentence

Anthony Moynihan (54) of Rostellan, Midleton, Co Cork. Photograph: Cork Courts Ltd

A 54-year-old man who failed to show up for his sentencing for the rape and sexual assault of an 11-year-old boy has been arrested in Cork.

Anthony Moynihan of Croccane, Rostellan, Midleton, Co Cork was sentenced in his absence to seven years in jail for rape and sexual assault after he failed to appear before Mr Justice Michael White at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin on Friday.

Mr Justice White issued a warrant for Moynihan after defence counsel said that his client took the train to Dublin to attend the hearing, was spotted in the vicinity of the Central Criminal Court building but was later seen going back towards Heuston Station.

Moynihan was arrested on Saturday afternoon by gardaí in Blackrock on Cork’s southside and brought to Bridewell Garda Station in the city centre where he will be detained until the next sitting of the Central Criminal Court on Monday.

At the sentencing hearing in Dublin on Friday, Mr Justice White condemned Moynihan’s “brutal” abuse of the victim, Dylan Higgins (23). Mr Higgins previously waived his right to anonymity so that Moynihan could be named.

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

Mr Justice White paid tribute to Mr Higgins for his “tremendous courage” in reporting the abuse and delivering a “very moving” victim impact statement in court. 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, the court heard.

Moynihan pleaded guilty at an earlier sitting of the Central Criminal Court to two charges of anal rape and two counts of sexually assaulting Mr Higgins at his home in Rostellan 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.

Mr Higgins returned to Moynihan’s home some months later and Moynihan asked him if he would have sex with him. Mr Higgins refused and complained he had been left bleeding the last time. Moynihan brought him 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.

Guilty plea

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 as he imposed a seven-year sentence on the accused.

Speaking to Virgin Media News after the hearing, Mr Higgins said he was happy with the sentence imposed by Mr Justice White but he was not pleased that Moynihan had failed to show up for the sentencing after pleading guilty at the earlier hearing.

“He’s evil, he’s bad and he’s just not a nice person. He’s sick, he’s sick in the head. I think all people like him, all monsters like him should be named and shamed for what they have done to people... I wanted him to be ashamed of what he did. I want everyone to know, to be aware of him, and just to know that face.”

Mr Higgins urged any who had suffered abuse not to be afraid to come forward and report the abuse as “it may save lives” “Keep your head high and keep yourself going and don’t ever think you are worthless because you’re not,” he said.