Two farming brothers convicted of raping and sexually assaulting younger male cousin when they were all teens jailed for 22 months each
‘It took so long to fully understand that two people I grew up with — my cousins whom I thought were my friends — actually only used me and controlled me to meet their own twisted sexual desires’
Two farming brothers who were convicted of raping and sexually assaulting their younger male cousin when they were all teenagers have been jailed for 22 months each at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork.
The men, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were convicted following a two week trial in July. The jury found one of them guilty of sexually assaulting his cousin twice and raping him anally once. They found his brother guilty of oral rape twice and two counts of sexual assault. The offences date back to the 1990s.
The complainant in the case had told the court in his victim impact statement that at times over the years he had been suicidal because of the abuse he endured at the hands of the pair.
“Thankfully, because of a higher power, someone watching over me or the little bit of hope I clung on to I did not follow through with taking my own life.”
He told Ms Justice Mary Ellen Ring that he kept the abuse secret for years. He only confided in his wife when they had their first child. He said for many years he thought there was something wrong with him.
“That I was different and did not belong. But I know now it was the power of the dirty secret I was carrying and the control of the sexual abuse [defendants] imposed upon me is what was wrong.
“I have suffered years of low self-esteem, complete lack of confidence and no belief in myself. Never feeling good enough for anything or anyone.
“It took so long to fully understand that two people I grew up with — my cousins whom I thought were my friends — actually only used me and controlled me to meet their own twisted sexual desires.”
Meanwhile, Ray Boland, prosecuting senior counsel, had told the trial that the rape and assaults occurred in the 1990s when the complainant and the two brothers were in their early teens.
“They used to play a game in the living room of the house. They would take turns being the farmer and the cows. This was innocent at first. It occurred in the good room — the parlour. In the game a bull would enter the room and the bull would mount the cow. They might have seen this occurring on the farm.
This became more sinister and sexualised. There was also a game of mammies and daddies. They would all be wearing T-shirts and underwear. [The defendants] touched his [complainant’s] penis and genitals and tried to kiss him.”
Mr Boland said one of the brother’s put his penis in his cousin’s anus, and that the other defendant put his penis in the complaint’s mouth on two occasions.
Alice Fawsitt, SC, representing one of the brothers had said that while they did contest the case, when they were first confronted by the complainant about the allegations being made in 2016, the siblings said words to the effect that: “We were all young, we did not realise it affected you as much, why did you not come to us before? We would help you.”
Prior to sentencing Ms Justice Ring said that had received a large bundle from testimonials from neighbours and friends of both men. She said that the testimonials came from a “cross section” of people in the community and that it was clear the men were “well liked” in the small farming area where they live.
She said she was cognisant of the lack of previous convictions in the case and the fact that men were young at the time of their offending behaviour. She noted that assessments had indicated that both men were at extremely low risk of reoffending and that both had a health complaint. She also said that one of the brothers had been assessed as being of a low level of cognitive ability.
Ms Justice Ring also noted the large split that had occurred in the family arising out of what the men had done.
She said that she was conscious that she was sentencing adults for behaviour which occurred when they were children, “but the breach of trust cannot be ignored. The lack of remorse cannot be overlooked”.
She added the sexual assault and rape had had a profound effect on the complainant noting that abuse of this nature also “causes deep secondary effects to other members of the family unit.”
Ms Justice Ring jailed both men for 22 months each, saying that their actions had had a “profound” impact on their cousin.
“The effect of the abuse continues all these years.”