An Irish children’s book author has been sentenced to three and a half years in prison in the UK for historic sex offences.
Atrick Dorian Cowland, 72, of Ballagh, Enniscorthy, County Wexford, was jailed in 1988 for sexual offenses against 17 boys.
He was extradited from Ireland to the UK in March this year after two other victims came forward and claimed he had abused them decades ago.
He was sentenced to three and a half years in prison by Gloucester Crown Court on Monday 22 August.
The court heard Cowland – also known as Patrick Joseph Cormack, PJ Cormack and Paul Curran – was also jailed in Britain in 2012 for selling indecent pictures of boys and possessing 1,000 indecent photos of children with intent to disseminate them.
He was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment when he appeared before Bristol Crown Court in 1988, where he admitted to more than 500 offenses involving at least 17 boys.
He was charged at the time along with two other men, one described as a university scientist while the other was a “well-known” BBC employee who died before police could question him about the allegations.
Prosecutor Robin Shellard briefed the court on the two charges that have come to light since Cowland’s conviction in 1988.
He said the two victims were unknown to each other and made their allegations independently.
“The first victim was around 12 years old when Cowland molested him between 1979 and 1982,” Mr Shellard said. “As an adult, the victim underwent psychiatric treatment that led her to report to police that she had been sexually abused as a child.
“However, at the time, the man was mentally unfit to assist a prosecution as he suffered from psychosis and other mental health issues.”
The court heard that the man, who had previously made allegations against Cowland but was not mentally fit enough, agreed to support an indictment in December 2017.
“This victim recalls being chosen at his school by Cowland to be one of the actors in a film that was being shot on location,” Shellard said.
“After a few meetings with Cowland related to filming, the boy agreed to go with him to a tight boat where sexual things would happen.
“The victim has blocked out a lot of what happened to him. It was then that his mother noticed a change in her son’s personality at the age of 13, but couldn’t explain why.
“The man believes he was sexually abused for almost two years and that would have been about twice a month. He didn’t realize until many years later that what he had gone through was sexual abuse.”
The court also heard that on November 29, 2016, a second man contacted police, claiming he was sexually assaulted by Cowland while he was playing for a local football team in the 1970s.
Cowland took the then 12-year-old on a trip to London during which nothing sexual happened but on the way back his car “mysteriously” broke down.
“It was a planned ploy as Cowland had booked her into a hotel for the night,” Mr Shellard said.
“Cowland took this opportunity to take nude photos of the boy and this soon turned into sexual abuse.
“The victim alleges that he was sexually abused by Cowland for three years.”
In a statement, the first victim said he was still “suffering from the effects of what Cowland did to me when I was a kid.”
“I was a happy kid until I met Cowland. I have now been diagnosed as having schizophrenia, a condition I believe was brought on by Cowland’s sexual abuse of me.
“The court process took a long time, during which time I suffered a stress-related stroke. Still, I stuck with it. Cowland must take responsibility for what he did to me and the impact it had on my life and the lives of my family.
“I will never be able to forgive him for what he did.”
The second victim said: “Cowland has now admitted his insult and what he did to me. It will be a small compensation to see him punished and to keep him from ever doing this to anyone else.”
The six charges Cowland admitted yesterday involved the two boys of indecent assault and gross indecency – one between 1973 and 1975 at Cheltenham and the other between 1979 and 1982 at locations in England and Wales.
Judge Michael Cullum told Cowland: “It is quite clear that you were a prolific pedophile at this point in your life. Your crime lasted approximately 25 years, which encompasses your entire crime with these two victims who are now adult males.
“Her true offense in relation to these two latest victims is to deprive them of their childhood.
“The only reasonable sentence I can impose is immediate imprisonment, and that’s three and a half years.”
https://www.independent.ie/news/irish-childrens-author-jailed-for-historic-sex-abuse-of-two-boys-41935821.html Irish children’s author jailed over historic sexual abuse of two boys