A young man who was repeatedly raped and sexually abused by his half-brother over a four-year period has been praised by a judge for his “wonderful courage”.
At a sentence hearing at the Central Criminal Court, Mr Justice Michael White wished the 21-year-old the very best and said he had shown “wonderful courage, great honesty and commitment” in taking the case to court.
The court heard that the victim was raped and sexually assaulted on a weekly basis from when he was aged seven or eight, by his half-brother who was ten years older than him.
His half-brother (31) pleaded guilty to 18 sample counts representing 63 offences of rape and sexual committed between September 2005 and September 2012. He also admitting one count of possessing child pornography.
The abuse only came to light when a work colleague of the defendant saw him viewing “child pornography” on a work computer and reported him to gardaí.
Mr Justice White imposed a nine-year sentence with last two years suspended on a number of conditions, including that the accused avail of sex offender treatment programmes.
The judge expressed a wish that the young victim could overcome his difficulties and deal with the burden that he had held in silence for so long.
Mr Justice White said the man was “an innocent victim” and he had nothing to feel bad about. He was cruelly used by the defendant and the judge said he hoped these words from the court were of some comfort to him.
In a statement to gardaí, the victim said he was aged seven or eight when the abuse began. His parents had gone to church when his older brother told him to watch a gay porn video and then raped him repeatedly.
The victim said he was crying throughout the attack. He was raped again a few days later and thereafter raped and sexually assaulted on a weekly basis for the next seven years.
A garda sergeant told the court that the victim impact report, which was not read out in court, was one of the worst he had ever seen.
He said the difficulty for the victim in even coming to court had been “extreme”, and that the young man had just recently attended his first counselling session at the Rape Crisis Centre.
The garda said the young man was “struggling” and feeling very isolated.
The garda sergeant said that in September 2012, the manager of a design company in Dublin contacted gardaí and reported that an employee was viewing images of naked children on his computer during working hours.
Gardaí went to the business premises and downloaded a total of 170 images of child porn in folders compiled by the man.
Almost 100 of the images depicted children aged 17 or under engaging in sexually explicit acts with other children or with adults. The remainder showed children with their genital or anal region exposed.
The man subsequently presented himself at a garda station.
During a series of interviews it emerged that there had been online communication with his brother in which he discussed performing sexual acts on the victim.
He admitted that he had circulated naked images of his younger brother to others.
Mary Rose Gearty SC, defending, asked Mr Justice White to take into account that her client had been a child himself when the abuse started.
Counsel said the man had disclosed his own childhood sexual abuse to a psychologist. She submitted that her client takes full responsibility for what he did to his half-brother.
She said the man was deeply sorry and wished the gardaí had come sooner to the house, because that would have ended the offending.
In sentencing, Mr Justice White noted a “pattern of fear and force” in the abuse.
He said he also had to take into consideration a number of mitigating factors including the man’s youth when he began offending and the fact that he himself had been abused by men before he began offending.
The victim told gardaí that their parents had gone to church when the defendant called him upstairs to their parents’ bedroom, locked the door and told him to watch a gay porn video.
He said he felt uncomfortable and scared and his older brother took of all his clothes and raped him repeatedly, despite his efforts to make him stop.
The victim said he was crying and the defendant was pushing his face down onto the bed, and that afterwards he was afraid to tell anyone in case he could be blamed for it.
The child was raped again a few days later in the bedroom he shared with the defendant, and thereafter he was sexually abused and raped on a weekly basis until he moved to a different address at the age of 11.
The boy said he would sometimes wake up to find his half-brother abusing or raping him and that he stopped cleaning and washing himself in the hope that the defendant would not come near him.
The defendant would force the victim to watch porn during the abuse, and sometimes forced the victim to put his head under the bottom bunk while he raped him.
The victim said he felt in fear of his older brother at all times, and also felt ashamed and embarrassed and that his childhood had been taken from him.
The defendant initially denied ever forcing the victim to do anything, but eventually said that everything in his brother’s statement was correct.
He said he himself had been sexually abused and raped in a different country by a music teacher.
He has no previous convictions and has not come to garda attention since. He lives away from the victim and they have no relationship, the court heard. He has been in custody since September 2017.