A RETIRED council worker who sexually abused a young boy over a 15 month period plied his victim with chocolate and pocket money telling him they had a special relationship.
Earlier this year, the 74-year-old, who has an address in the Dooradoyle area of Limerick city, pleaded guilty to eight sample charges relating to offences which happened at his home on dates between January 1, 2006 and March 31, 2007.
The charges include “engaging in a sexual act” with a child aged under 15 and sexual assault.
During a sentencing hearing, Garda Cormac Flanagan said the victim, who was aged 10 when the abuse started, made a statement of complaint to gardai in February 2012 - a number of weeks after he informed members of the family about the abuse.
He told gardai when he first met the defendant - who lived near a friend of his - by chance, he offered him some money to help weed his garden. The relationship developed from there with the boy regularly visiting the man’s home for over a year.
Limerick Circuit Court was told the abuse started a number of weeks after the boy first met the defendant.
The separated-father of two forced him to have sex with him and to perform sexual acts on him up to “two or three times a week”.
The victim, the court heard, was afraid to tell his parents and told gardai at times he looked on his abuser as a father figure.
When questioned, the defendant initially denied sexually assaulting the boy, telling gardai that “I did let him have his way with me” adding that he “didn’t see any bad in it”.
Andrew Sexton SC, said his client now accepts his actions were wrong and that he regrets what happened. In mitigation, he said the pensioner had not gone out to seek a victim and that there was never any violence.
Referring to the break-up of his client’s marriage, he said the “whole confluence of events was most unfortunate”.
Judge Tom O’Donnell adjourned sentencing until September 28, next. He ordered that none of the parties involved be identified.