THE VICTIM of a violent sexual assault said that he was ‘happy’ that twenty years after the attack the perpetrator, a retired driving tester was jailed.
Brendan Lynch, Ballybough Street pleaded guilty to indecent assault and to sexual assault on his nephew, David O’Leary in 1989 and 1991. The court heard that the first attack took place when the victim, who was 12 at the time was on his Easter holidays, just a year after his father had died. The second attack, some two years living happened when the victim was living in Gowran with his mother and siblings. On that occasion, his mother was in hospital and had left the boy in the care of his uncle when the assault took place. The defendant is a brother of the victim’s mother and was also the best friend of the victim’s late father and was best man at their wedding.
David O’Leary, now aged 35 broke down as he told the court of the impact the abuse had on him as a teenager, an adult and a father.
“When you are sexually abused as a child you are left with two emotions guilt and shame.... I have lived with these feelings all my life and they have had devastating effects on me and everyone around me...There is no way of coping with what is going on in your mind. I turned to drink and drugs to cope. I felt no one would believe me and deep down I blamed myself..I despised myself because I felt dirty and I still deal with this today,” hew said.
Mr O’Leary added that he ‘lost out on all my teenage years’ as well as girlfriends, countless friends and jobs and described ‘living in a state of paranoia’. He also outlined to the court that he suffered from depression for most of his adult life and from post traumatic stree syndrome. “I have lived a nightmare for the past 22 years. It will always be present in my life. This is because a grown man decided that I was a sexual object for pleasure.
“I was 12 when this started. I didn’t ask for it, I didn’t want it and it should never have happened,” he added.
Defence barrister Kevin Byrne told the court that his client had apologised for his actions, made admissions and entered a guilty plea at the first opportunity. “He hasn’t got into trouble since 1991. As a sign of remorse he had paid over €5,000 to the local branch of the Saint Vincent de Paul. He has suffered from depression for a long number of years and also diabetes and hypertension.” The court also heard that he had undergone treatment, which he funded himself. Evidence was heard that the defendant, who worked as a tester with the Department of the Environment had taken early retirement and was ostracised from his family and friends. “He had a very lonely existence and he accepts that he brought it on his own head. He remains willing to pay compensation,” said Mr Byrne who indicated that his client had made an offer of €15,000 in compensation.
Judge Alice Doyle said that the offences violated a young boy and then a young man and were made by a trusted member of the family. “On the first occasion his father was not long dead and the accused used this time to violate his best friend’s so who he was best man to at his wedding. The court heard how the victim had his life turned upside down and was left with guilt and depression and turned to drink and drugs all as a result of the violation perpretrated by the accused. He felt that no one would believe him and that he had done something wrong and that he was a bad person.
“It is very rare to see a man of 35 completely shook in the witness box. When he was reading his victim impact statement he was very upset and in tears,” she said.
Judge Doyle sentenced him to four years for the sexual assault which she described as ‘a serious, invasive and violent crime’ and suspended the final two years. She also ordered that €15,00 be paid over to the State Solicitor to be handed over to the victim within seven days. After the case Mr O’Leary said he was ‘happy’ with the sentence and paid tribute to the Harbour Counselling Service for their support.