Ireland

Teenage boys found guilty of sexually assaulting their friend (13) in a park

**Some people may find the details of this court report distressing**

TWO DUBLIN TEENAGERS have been found guilty of sexually assaulting a then 13-year-old friend who was held down in a park while a hairbrush handle was shoved into his anus.

The pair, both aged 15, pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting the boy on a date in June last year when a group of friends were having a kickabout in Dublin.

The defendants were aged 14 at the time of the alleged incident.

Following a five day non-jury trial at the Dublin Children’s Court, Judge Brian O’Shea found that they told lies and were guilty. He adjourned sentencing pending the preparation of a victim impact statement.

The Probation Service is also to carry out assessments and draft pre-sentence reports on the two defendants who, along with family members in court, were visibly upset at the end of the proceedings. None of the parties in the case can be identified.

The complainant, now aged 14, testified that after playing football he lay on the ground facing down.

One of the defendants lay on top of him for a few minutes. He agreed they had been friends and often did mess fights because they were interested in WWE wrestling. However, he remembered that this was different.

He panicked and tried to get his friend off him by pinching him, and he could not breathe. Someone had a hairbrush and gave it to that boy who had his legs across him.

He alleged the first boy “put it up my arsehole” by its handle, and it went half way up for five or six seconds.

The second defendant, he alleged, “came over and put it right up”. The first boy held him down, he said. His shorts and underwear “were twisted into my arsehole” and they were torn.

He glanced around and could see them laughing. “They thought it was a mess, but it was very serious,” he said.

Immediately afterwards, he overheard second defendant say “you did it first” and the first defendant replied “you are the one who stuck it up all the way”.

It was sore, stinging and he felt sick and embarrassed afterwards, the said.

Other people there thought he was shaking with anger, but it was really out of feeling sick, scared and embarrassed, he told the court.

He lay down flat and cried for 10 seconds afterwards. “Everyone was gathered around asking if I was alright. I ignored them,” he recalled.

The boy then got on his bike and headed home. He cried for about 10 minutes there and then went out to get food, but could not eat it.

A teenage girl witnessed it and said the boy’s shorts were ripped and he appeared to be crying afterwards.

She said the first defendant was on top of him and the second defendant then “put the hairbrush up his bum”.

The girl (14) was friends with the complainant and she knew the defendants. She was only three or four feet away from them when it happened.

The first boy, who wrestled with the complainant, gave evidence in the trial. He told the court they had been laughing and messing and he got the better of his friend.

He was sitting on his back slapping the back of his head and ruffling his hair until he heard him say “aargh”. He got up and went home for his dinner and did not notice anything, he claimed.

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He denied holding the victim down and claimed he knew nothing about a hairbrush being used.

Cross-examined by prosecution counsel Fionnuala O’Sullivan (instructed by State solicitor Michelle Sheeran), he said he did not see the co-defendant and he was completely unaware anything happened.

He disputed evidence from the complainant’s mother that he told her “the other fellah did it” when he and his father went to speak to her later at her home. He could not remember saying it was the other boy, but he admitted he might have.

It was put to him that he held the complainant down while the co-accused inserted the hairbrush, and it was something they did together. That was false, he replied.

The victim’s mother told the court that this boy’s father had told her “your son is only a rat”.

She had found out about the incident from the mother of the teenage girl who witnessed the assault on her son.

The co-defendant did not give evidence but had made a statement to gardaí. The court heard he claimed the first boy and another youth were on the complainant, and it got “out of hand”.

He maintained he went over to take the hairbrush from the first defendant.

Delivering a guilty verdict, Judge O’Shea said he was satisfied the prosecution had established the facts beyond reasonable doubt against both accused. He concluded that the first boy’s account was “just not not credible” and that he had told lies.

Judge O’Shea was satisfied that youth knew his co-accused was there, that a sexual assault was taking place and that he restrained the complainant during his ordeal.

The pair were remanded on continuing bail.

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