‘My old family should go to jail for a long time’ – read statements of victim victim in Munster child sex abuse case

A child victim in the Munster sexual abuse case has said she feels her parents and other family members who abused her should go to jail for a “longer time”.

In the No Victim Impact statement he prepared for the Central Criminal Court sentencing hearing, the eldest boy, now a juvenile, wrote: “What happened at home changed my whole life.

“What happened to me and my brothers and sisters should never have happened to a child. I have been trying to recover from what happened over the years,” he said. He said it was not normal for a child to go to court and “stand up for the truth”.

He said that he “never knew what a normal life was like” until he joined his foster family. “I am clean and I am happy and I am never hungry and not afraid to sleep.

He wrote, “I think my old family should go to jail for a long time, they shouldn’t have kids again for what they have given to me and my brothers and sisters.”

The statement was one of several victim impact statements read in court today by the case’s principal investigator. No child was in court for the hearing.

The parents of the five children and three other family members were found guilty of all but one of the 78 cases against them after a 10-week trial that took place between May and August last year.

Three men and two women, who cannot be named to protect the anonymity of the children, were found guilty of sexually abusing three children between 2014 and 2016. They are the parents, aunts and uncles of the children. Their age is between 27 and 57.

All crimes in Münster took place between August 2014 and April 2016 at unknown dates.

The parents were also found guilty of willfully neglecting their five children, while the father was found guilty of drug abuse to three of them. All the defendants denied all the charges leveled against them.

Comprehensive reporting restrictions are in place to protect the welfare and identity of children, which were taken into account in 2016. He was between one and nine at the time of the crime.

The eldest boy’s younger sister and brother, who were also sexually abused, also wrote brief victim impact statements for the court.

The sister wrote: “They ruined my childhood and didn’t even care for me. I wasn’t in love when I was little.” Brother wrote: “I (not) felt safe about him not being in prison. I didn’t have a happy childhood.”

Three sets of foster parents of children wrote lengthy statements describing the many challenges they faced in helping children recover from their traumatic early childhood.

He described how children arrived only with clothes on their backs, dirty soiled and covered in feces with various marks and scratches, and without toileting skills.

The eldest boy’s foster mother said he suffered a “terrible childhood” at the hands of those he should have loved and cared for.

He said that when the guilty verdicts came, he told them that he was “so glad he was believed”, that his relatives were in prison and that they would never be allowed to contact him again.

He has more confidence and “spring in his step” since the guilty verdict, the foster mother said. She affectionately described him as a “handsome, handsome boy” whom she is proud of in her family.

“They ruined my childhood and didn’t even care about me. I was not in love when I was young.”

The girl’s foster mother and the second eldest boy said they were also very happy with the decision. She said that they “finally feel safe now” and have “expressed a desire to lead a normal life”.

This foster mother described in detail that the two children have faced many difficulties, including behavioral and health issues, since living with their family. He listed a long line of health professionals and physicians whom he has seen and continues to see regularly. He paid tribute to the hard work put in by the children to make up for their lost childhood.

The foster mother described that when they first arrived at her home, the children regularly hid in the hot press, under stairs or under tables and never asked for food. “We think hunger was so common throughout their lives, they were unable to identify or meet their hunger needs.”

She said both children “slept with one eye open” and suffered from terrifying, recurrent nightmares, including one where their parents were trying to break into a house in the dark and hurt them. She said that after setting up additional security in the home, the children were less fearful.

The foster mother of the two youngest boys also set up additional security in her home, which she said was done out of “genuine fear for the safety of the children”. She said there have been incidents where unidentified people’s cars were pulled over outside their home and they were “worried sick” that children would be taken away.

“I (not) felt safe about him not being in jail. I didn’t have a happy childhood.”

This foster mother also outlined the behavioral difficulties and treatments the children received. She said that one of the boys is under extreme stress especially at night and only in the last year and a half he has stopped giving direct blows when he checks on her at night.

She said that after being barred from visiting her parents, none of the children ever asked to see her again.

The inspector in the case outlined the details of the evidence that were heard in the trial last year. The trial came from more than 30 witnesses, including the children themselves, social and family support workers, foster parents, teachers, medical professionals and guards.

The court heard that the family was on Tusla’s radar until 2011, but the intervention only proceeded in 2014, when several files on the family were opened.

The court heard that the children were finally taken care of after 20 months, when the father admitted to a social worker that he was giving the children medicine to put them to sleep. A sixth child was born after the babies were described as a latent pregnancy. This child was also thrown out of the family home.

The parents, uncle and aunt have been in custody since last August since the verdict was pronounced. All of them were present in the court for hearing on the sentence. They remained expressionless when the statements of victim impact were read out.

The court heard that they were maintaining their innocence. Defending the father, Mark Nichols SC said that despite this stance, fathers are “great satisfaction” to know that their children are now happy.

The court heard that the father (57) had a mild intellectual disability and was found to have borderline intellectual functioning.

Defending the mother (34), Dean Kelly SC said that she had a very happy childhood but was marred by violence, which was common in the household. He also has mild intellectual disability.

Mr Kelly submitted that while male sex offenders are imprisoned in sex offender units, there is no segregation in female prisons. As a result, she is confined to her room for most of the day for her safety, he said.

Andrew Sammon SC, defending the mother’s sister (35), said she also had limited intellectual function.

Andrew Sexton SC defends her 49-year-old husband, saying the fact that his wife has also been imprisoned is an additional punishment for him, as he has only been through video call since the verdict was pronounced last year. There was a contact.

Defending the children’s 27-year-old uncle, Conor Deoli SC, said he has employed his entire adult life. The court heard that except for two minor road traffic offences, none of the family members had any previous conviction.

Mr Justice Paul McDermott adjourned the matter to January 18 for finalization.