Mother, father and grandmother among accused in Munster child sexual abuse trial | #childabuse | #children | #kids



The trial of three men and four women accused of sexually abusing three children in Munster has opened before a jury.

The seven accused, who cannot be named for legal reasons, include the parents, grandmother and several aunts and uncles of the three main child complainants. The accused range in ages from their 20s to their 50s and live in various locations in Munster.

The Central Criminal Court heard that both parents are also accused of wilfully neglecting another two of their children.

In his opening address to the jury, Bernard Condon SC, prosecuting, said the case dealt with allegations of “the most difficult types” made by three young children against “the closest persons” in their lives.

Mr Condon said the prosecution case is twofold – that these children were “seriously neglected” over a period of years and that they were sexually abused and assaulted by their parents and by relatives of their parents over a number of years.

Counsel said the seven accused included both the father and the mother of the three children as well as their mother’s sister and her partner, their mother’s brother and his partner, and the children’s maternal grandmother.

Mr Condon said the three children include a boy who is now aged around 14, a girl who is “just short of 13” and another boy who is “just short of 12”. He said the children have two further younger brothers who will not give evidence and a younger sister who is not relevant to the case.

Counsel said the charges on the indictment begin in August 2014 when the children moved into a new home in Munster and end in April 2016, when the children were taken into care. He said the children now live with foster parents.

Mr Condon said that as part of the process of the children being taken into care, allegations of sexual wrongdoing were made and then investigated by gardaí.

The list of charges

The father of the three main child complainants has pleaded not guilty to 34 counts including rape, anal rape, oral rape, sexual assault, sexual exploitation and wilfully neglecting a child at locations in Munster on unknown dates between August 18, 2014, and April 28, 2016.

The mother of the three main child complainants has pleaded not guilty to 25 counts including sexual assault, sexual exploitation and wilfully neglecting a child at locations in Munster on unknown dates between August 18, 2014, and April 28, 2016.

The mother and father have also pleaded not guilty to wilfully neglecting two other boys at a location in Munster on unknown dates between August 18, 2014, and April 28, 2016.

A woman in her 30s, who is the sister of the children’s mother, has pleaded not guilty to three counts, including sexually assaulting the girl and sexually assaulting one of the boys at locations in Munster on unknown dates between August 18, 2014, and April 28, 2016.

A man, who is the partner of the woman in her 30s, has pleaded not guilty 12 counts including rape, anal rape, oral rape, sexual assault and sexual exploitation at locations in Munster on unknown dates between August 18, 2014, and April 28, 2016.

A man in his 20s, who is the brother of the children’s mother, has pleaded not guilty 10 counts including rape, oral rape, anal rape, sexual assault and sexual exploitation at locations in Munster on unknown dates between August 18, 2014, and April 28, 2016.

A woman, who is the partner of the man in his 20s, has pleaded not guilty to four counts, including sexual assault and sexual exploitation at locations in Munster on unknown dates between August 18, 2014, and April 28, 2016.

Finally, the maternal grandmother of the three child complainants has pleaded not guilty to three counts of sexually assaulting the girl by touching her genitals at locations in Munster on unknown dates between August 18, 2014, and April 28, 2016.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Paul McDermott and a jury.



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