Three men who sexually abused a child as teenagers in the early 1980s have been sentenced to prison.
rancis Murphy, 61, Declan Murphy, 54, and Francis Boland, 56, were found guilty after a trial earlier this year. Each of the men has pleaded not guilty and has no criminal record.
The victim was between 11 and 15 years old at the time. He waived his anonymity in order to be able to name the accused.
Judge Melanie Greally delivered a verdict in Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on Monday, saying it was “incomprehensible” that the victim had been molested by three people in the same period. It is unclear whether the three defendants knew of each other’s actions, she said.
Francis Murphy, 61, of Hamilton Place, Trim, Co. Meath, was convicted of 11 counts of indecent assault between June 1982 and August 1986.
Declan Murphy (54) of Ridgewood Square, Swords, was convicted of six counts of indecent assault on various dates between 1982 and 1985.
Francis Boland, 56, of Glasanaon Road, Finglas, was found guilty of four counts of indecent assault between 1981 and 1984. Boland was not present in court when the case was terminated, and a medical report submitted to the court indicated that he is at the hospital.
The three defendants do not accept the verdicts of the jury and continue to protest their innocence.
Judge Greally found that Boland and Declan Murphy were both juveniles at the time of the offense while Francis Murphy was an adult.
Francis and Declan Murphy are both the victim’s older cousins. Boland’s mother was friends with the victim’s grandmother.
Judge Greally sentenced Francis Murphy to three years in prison, which begins today.
She handed Declan Murphy a 30-month jail term from today’s date and gave Boland a 22-month jail sentence with a one-month deferral.
The court heard during the trial that there were a number of incidents in which the victim was forced to masturbate and offer candy and other inducements to Francis Murphy.
On one occasion the victim and Francis Murphy drove to Blessington, Co. Wicklow to spend the day fishing. He then abused the boy. The couple then went to Dun Laoghaire where Francis Murphy again abused him.
Regarding Declan Murphy, the court heard evidence of a number of incidents of sexual abuse and attempted sexual abuse at Co Dublin locations.
The court heard that Francis Boland had also repeatedly abused the boy.
A victim’s statement was read to the court on behalf of the victim. In the statement, he said the abuse “ruined” his childhood and left him feeling unclean.
“No matter how many times I shower or wash my hands, I still feel unclean.”
The victim said he could not go out alone and had to be accompanied by his wife. When outside, he “scans the crowd” to see if any of the three defendants are there.
He suffers from severe mental health problems and has had difficulties with alcohol and drugs.
The victim said he spent years “understanding” what happened and hopes that after the trial is complete, he can move on with his life.
The defense attorney for the three defendants said they each had a long work history and had not stood out negatively.
Francis Murphy’s defense attorney said there was no evidence of ejaculation, violence or threats of violence in relation to his client. Testimonies and a medical report were submitted to the court.
His client had a number of health problems and had to be taken to the hospital by the court during the trial. The attorney added that the prison environment would be challenging for Francis Murphy due to his health issues.
Alan Doherty SC, who is representing Declan Murphy, said his client was a teenager at the time of the crime and was devastated by the outcome of the court case.
Mr. Doherty asked Judge Greally to consider, as a mitigating factor, that his client had lived a “clean life” in previous years and had a low risk of recidivism. His client will also be placed on the sex offenders registry, which will have “life-changing effects”.
James McGowan SC, defending Francis Boland, said his client was a teenager at the time and had not been noticed in previous years. A medical report and testimony were submitted to the court on Boland’s behalf.
Judge Greally noted that both Francis and Declan Murphy testified at the trial, alleging that the victim fabricated events “out of spite” due to family issues. Boland did not testify at the trial, and his legal team suggested that the victim’s memory was defective.
She found that Francis and Declan Murphy had betrayed their younger cousin’s trust, which was an aggravating factor. She also pointed out the use of incentives in some cases.
Judge Greally said the mitigating circumstances of a guilty plea or remorse were not available to the three defendants. She explained that the three men had no criminal record and that these events took place approximately 35 years ago.
She noted that the men had been law-abiding in years past and each had a long work history.
Judge Greally also said all three would be placed on the sex offender registry and they would carry that stigma for the rest of their lives. She also provided legal aid in the event that an appeal is filed.
Judge Greally wished the victim and his family well in the future and said she hoped the trial would bring him to a conclusion.
Helplines: If you are affected by any of the issues discussed in this article, click here for more information.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/three-men-jailed-for-separately-abusing-boy-in-1980s-when-they-were-teenagers-42161953.html Three men jailed for separately abusing a boy as a teenager in the 1980s