Two more give evidence in Waterford sports coach trial

Two more give evidence in Waterford sports coach trial

Two more complainants have given evidence in the trial of a former sports coach accused of 266 counts of indecent and sexual assault.

The 72-year-old Waterford man, who can't be named for legal reasons, has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to counts of indecently and sexually assaulting five boys in locations in Waterford, Cork and Kilkenny on dates between 1978 and 1993.

The court has heard the five complainants are now men in their 40s and 50s. Two of them are brothers.

The court has heard they came into contact with the complainant when they were boys or teenagers in various ways including as a sports coach and family friend.


In his opening speech to the jury, Paul Greene SC, prosecuting, said it would hear evidence that inappropriate sexual contact took place between the accused man and the boys, which included exposing himself, fondling, masturbation, handcuffing, urination and defecation.

The second complainant in the case, now aged 48, gave evidence today.

The court heard he is the younger brother of the first complainant and the accused man was his father's friend.

The second complainant told the court that when he was aged around 12, the accused man started making “sexual innuendos” to him, which he said made him feel very uncomfortable.


He said the accused man then offered him money if he would let the man touch his penis.

He said this happened in the man's car in secluded areas and it became a regular occurrence.

The complainant said he was in the accused man's car because the man was “a trusted family friend” who gave him lifts. The court has heard the family did not own a car.

The complainant said the interactions progressed to the man touching his penis and then oral sex. He said the man gave him money in exchange for the acts and he felt “ashamed”.


He told the court that one year he went to a sports camp and the man visited him there some evenings.

“He knew I didn't have much money,” the complainant said, adding the man offered the boy money to watch him masturbate or have the boy watch him masturbate.

The complainant said that as he got older, the accused man started bringing him to wooded areas in the locality where he would tie him to a tree, or where he would tie himself to a tree.

The complainant said the man started wearing women’s clothes at this time and would ask the boy to “punish” him by squeezing his genitals or kicking him.

When asked how he felt about these occasions, the complainant replied: “Terrible.”

“I was always worried about someone coming along,” he said.

When asked if he agreed to the acts, the man replied: “For the money, yes.” He told the court that the man would also say he “owed” him. “If I hadn't carried out something on him to his satisfaction, or if he had given me money in advance,” he said.

The complainant also described occasions in the accused man's house in which he was tied to the bed. He outlined alleged acts the man asked him to carry out involving urination and defecation. The complainant said alcohol was always part of his encounters with the accused man and that he started taking drugs in his late teens.

He said he stopped seeing the accused man regularly around the time he turned 20. The pair were in touch in later years, when the complainant got married and the accused man lent him the deposit for his house, the court heard.

When the young couple fell behind in paying the accused man back, the complainant said the man suggested they could pay off the loan by letting him watch the couple have sex. The complainant said he then told his wife everything that had allegedly happened. This was in 2001, the court heard.

The complainant said he also then confided in his brother and discovered that “the same thing had happened to him as well.”

The complainant told John Peart SC, defending, that the accused man was a “good family friend”. He confirmed that he didn't repay the man in full for the loan.

The complainant accepted that the incidents of masturbation in the car could have continued until 1995, when he was around 20.

Mr Peart put it to the complainant that “nothing untoward happened” to him before he was 15. The complainant rejected this and said it started when he was 12, then became “the norm”.

Mr Peart suggested the first thing a child would do is “run home and tell their mother someone has been molesting me”. The complainant said he didn't tell his parents that a “good family friend” was “molesting” him.

The complainant also accepted Mr Peart's suggestion that he had consented to activities from the age of 15.

The complainant rejected a suggestion from Mr Peart that the accused man never gave him money. He said he spent the money and his parents weren't aware of it.

The complainant reiterated his evidence that the man visited him when he attended a sports camp.

He told defence counsel that his parents didn't see the marks on his arms and ankles where he was tied as he hid them.

The third complainant, now 52, gave evidence that he regularly played football locally and became acquainted with the accused man through this. He said he looked at the man as “an uncle figure” who had a genuine interest in him.

The complainant said shortly after his 14th birthday, the man gifted him a match programme from his favourite club and some money. He said the man would regularly give him money after this.

The complainant said he was walking into town the day after finishing his exams in June 1985, when he saw the man in his car. The man suggested he got into the car, which he did.

The complainant said they drove to the edge of the town where the man stopped the car. The defendant put his hand on the complainant's crotch, then undid his jeans and touched his penis.

The complainant said this lasted for one or two minutes, but “felt like a lifetime”. He said he wanted to leave and made an excuse that he had to meet someone. The complainant said the man dropped him off.

The complainant said he went to the local garda station the next day to report what had happened. He said he was told by the garda at the counter that he would need an adult with him to make a complaint.

Under cross-examination, the complainant said he didn't tell his parents as he'd have to explain what happened and he didn't want to do that. He said he hoped he wasn't going to meet the man again as he didn't attend the sports group again.

The complainant agreed with defence counsel that there are no records to show that the complainant visited the garda station. He said he spoke to a garda at the counter and told him he was 14.

The complainant spent the money received from the man and his parents were unaware of the money.

The complainant rejected Mr Peart's suggestion that he was not walking in the direction of the town when he met the man.

Mr Peart put it to the witness that the man wasn't the registered owner of the car until a month after this alleged incident took place. The complainant said he was certain of the date and that it was the car.  A letter about the car's registration was read to the jury.

The trial continues before Judge Martin Nolan and a jury.

By Isabel Hayes and Eimear Dodd