Tipperary News

Tipperary teenager spent years abusing four-year-old neighbour

Tipperary teenager spent years abusing four-year-old neighbour

A Tipperary man was 13 years old when he began sexually abusing a four-year-old neighbour, the Central Criminal Court has heard.

The now 37-year-old man, who cannot be identified to protect the identity of the injured party, pleaded guilty to oral rape and sexual assault of the young man by inserting his fingers into his anus at the victim’s home, on dates between 1999 and 2002.

He has no relevant previous convictions.

The boy was between 4 and 8 years old when he was abused by the accused, aged between 13 and 17 years old during his offending.


In his victim impact statement, the now 28-year-old man told the court that the accused had taken his childhood and groomed him for his own sexual gratification.

He outlined the adverse effects the abuse has had and continues to have on his personal life, education, and relationships.

He outlined how he had suffered depression, stress, anxiety, fear, nightmares, and paranoid thoughts towards other people.

He said he had “agonised” over disclosing what had happened to him and was afraid about how he would protect any future children.


Ms Justice Mary Ellen Ring commended the young man’s bravery in speaking out about what had happened to him.

She told the injured party that she had to consider the obvious emotional and physical abuse he had suffered, as well as the breach of his family's trust. She said she also had to take into consideration that the accused was a young teenager at the time.

Ms Justice Ring adjourned the finalisation of the case to next Friday and remanded the accused man in custody.

A local garda told Patrick McGrath SC, prosecuting, that the accused and the injured party had been neighbours, and the accused was a frequent visitor to the boy’s home, almost on a daily basis.


The boy first recalled something happening when he was in the toilet, and the accused was also there. They were both urinating, and the accused enticed him to touch his erect penis.

The abuse progressed to forcing the child to perform oral sex on him on numerous occasions over the years of offending and later inserting his fingers into the boy’s anus.

He had tried to insert his penis into the boy’s anus but was unsuccessful. He also brought pornographic magazines to the boy.

The abuse ended following an incident where money went missing, and the accused was no longer welcome at the house. The money was recovered.

The injured party later told a girlfriend in 2017 what had happened, and he made a statement to gardaí in 2018.

The accused was interviewed a number of times in 2019 and made some admissions.

He told Gardaí he was hanging his head in shame, that it was not the right thing to do, and he was disgusted with himself. The case was listed for trial, and he entered guilty pleas in 2022.

The garda told the court the accused man’s relationship with his partner is now over since these offences came to light, and he has lost his employment in recent weeks.

Mr McGrath said the Director of Public Prosecutions' view was that the case lay in the 10 to 15-year sentencing bracket, but acknowledged that the abuse occurred while the accused was a minor, which would impact the headline sentence.

Seamus Clarke SC, defending, asked the court to take into account his client's guilty plea and lack of relevant convictions. He submitted that the court should factor in the discount in sentencing mandated by law as the accused was a child himself when the offences occurred.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can call the national 24-hour Rape Crisis Helpline at 1800-77 8888, access text service and webchat options at drcc.ie/services/helpline/, or visit Rape Crisis Help. 

By Fiona Ferguson

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