Two brothers who pleaded guilty to charges of sexual assault and defilement received jail sentences at this week’s sitting of Donegal Circuit Court.
After sentencing, one of the brothers made a run towards the door but was restrained by prison officers.
The brothers, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were charged with two counts of sexual assault and two counts of defilement on a 13-year-old boy in Donegal in late 2008 and the summer of 2009.
The Court was told that a complaint was made to the gardaí in July 2010 by the parents of the victim.
In evidence, the Garda said that it had been alleged that the incidents happened over a period of time in a secluded wooded area. The victim was 13 at the time.
Evidence was given that the juveniles engaged in a game of “truth or dare” where they engaged in sexual activities in reward for cigarettes.
On the first occasion the acts of oral sex were performed and on the second, sexual intercourse and anal penetration was attempted but not completed.
The court was told that after these acts there was a serious deterioration in the victim’s health.
The Garda told the court that the victim’s health started to go downhill and he was seen by a psychiatrist. He had also left a suicide note with his friends and was in a very fragile condition.
The Garda added that he had interviewed the two brothers in September 2010.
“They were both told that they were not under arrest and free to go at any time. Both defendants gave cautioned statements and agreed that the statements given by the victim were correct,” he said.
Patricia McLaughlin, BL, for the prosecution, said that the victim had been severely impacted as a result and told the court that he was suffering from severe depression, anxiety, panic attacks and suicidal thoughts. She added that he had been undergoing treatment and had performed acts of self-harm and had totally lost his self-esteem and respect.
Risk of re-offending
Counsel for the defence said both men had made full admissions when interviewed by gardaí. They added that their clients, one of whom had shown remorse, while the other did not, had been abused themselves in the past by family members. The court was told that both defendants had failed to attend appointments at a child sex abuse treatment centre.
Judge O’Hagan said the two men had initially palled around with their victim and fooled around “as young boys do”, but things “got more serious as they played sexual games”.
He added the pair “knew that what they were doing was wrong. It was improper and they should have known better.”
Referring to probation reports, the judge said they showed that both were at risk of re-offending.
He sentenced the two men to two years in prison on each of four charges, with the final year suspended, with all sentences to run concurrently.
He also ordered that both men enter into supervision with the probation service for two years after their release “to protect the public from the risk of them re-offending”.