A DUNMANWAY man who sexually abused a child is to have his home turned into his prison cell for the next five years for a crime he committed 35 years ago.
Eugene O’Sullivan (59) of Dun Orga, Dunmanway, was given a five-year prison sentence which, the court heard, he will effectively serve at home.
Judge Donagh McDonagh said that it was with reluctance that he was suspending the five-year sentence, but was doing so on the accused man’s undertaking to remain within the curtilage of his home for the next five years.
‘I will suspend it on his entering a bond to have no contact of any nature with the injured party or her family, that he remain within the curtilage of his dwelling for the period of five years,’ the judge said, adding that O’Sullivan could leave his home for all medical appointments and hospital treatment.
‘If it crosses his mind to attend church, chapel or meeting house, he would be permitted to do so,’ said the judge. ‘These terms are to replace his home for a prison cell. Any deviation should immediately be reported to the court and I will impose the prison sentence,’ Judge McDonagh said.
The judge said the victim impact statement, which the complainant did not want to have read in public, was the most articulate, eloquent and moving he had ever seen, outlining how crimes of this nature affected innocent children through their childhood and into adult life.
The accused was remanded in custody a fortnight ago following his pleas of guilty to indecently assaulting a little girl in West Cork when she was six years old and he was 25. His name will also go on the Sex Offenders Register.
Sgt Aidan Moynihan said at Cork Circuit Criminal Court that the incident occurred on an afternoon in the early 1980s.The six-year-old girl asked the 25-year-old defendant to get something for him. He said he would do so but he produced his penis and told her to put it in her mouth first and the child did so.
It was not until the injured party was 19 that she felt she could tell an aunt what happened and it was some further time before she told her mother.
Sgt Moynihan said the woman was in counselling from 1995 until 2012, the year she eventually went to her local garda station and made a complaint of indecent assault.
The injured party, who did not refer to herself as a ‘victim’, said she did not want any of the parties identified and did not want the accused to be jailed. She wanted her victim impact report read privately by the judge and not in public.
Judge McDonagh said it was important it was known the effect that such a crime had on a child, not just in their childhood, but throughout their full adult life.
Defence barrister, Brian McInerney, said the accused now suffered serious ill-health. ‘He is deeply ashamed of his actions, he has had to live with this in the back of his mind. He accepts there is a certain degree of fate seeking to even the scales in terms of injuries which have befallen him,’ he said.
Mr McInerney BL said he was flabbergasted by the extraordinary Christian attitude taken by the complainant. ‘One could understand feelings of revenge or vengeance but she fails to see how it would achieve anything other than letting a sick man die in prison,’ Mr McInerney said.