by Eugene Hogan in The Irish Independent
A 70-YEAR-OLD farmer, who said that his cattle meant more to him than a boy he sexually abused over a six-year period up to 1970, was yesterday sentenced to six years imprisonment.
Bachelor Joseph Nugent, from Dromellihy, Cree, Co Clare, had acted in a premeditated and predatory nature for his own self-gratification and beastly pleasure, Judge Brian McMahon remarked in sentencing the accused at Limerick Circuit Court.
Nugent, a farmer of 65 acres, seven miles from Kilrush, was convicted on November 11 last in Kilrush after a five day trial on 24 counts of indecent assault and 24 of buggery on his neighbour Aidan Hastings, now 47. The case had been adjourned back to Limerick yesterday for sentencing.
The defendant pleaded not guilty to all 48 counts and, despite making a full statement of admission to gardai when arrested in November 2000, still continues to deny the charges.
The offences began in 1964 when Mr Hastings was just 8-years-old and continued for six years. The abuse was perpetrated 2-3 times a week and occurred in the defendant's fields and haybarn or on other occasions when the accused would get him to sit on his lap.
In April 2000 when the victim confronted Nugent about the abuse, the accused replied: "what about it. Aren't the priests and all doing it."
Passing sentence, Judge McMahon said the offences involved the use of physical violence by an adult on a young child and were carried out on a continuous and ongoing basis for many years for the gratification of the perpetrator.
Afterwards, Mr Hastings said he was satisfied with the sentence but said that his main hope all along was that "the truth would come out."
"At least now everybody back at home knows what happened and that I was telling the truth all along and it hurt me a lot that many people doubted my story. At least now there is no doubt and that is the main thing to me," he said.
Posted by Colm at November 27, 2002 02:26 PM
Mr Hastings added that he will now be seeking financial compensation from his abuser by way of a civil case.