Jail for “persistent abuse” of nephew
Tuesday, 5 August 2014
A Silverbridge man has been jailed for five years for what has been described by a Judge as the "prolonged and persistent abuse" of his nephew between 1981 and 1985.
77-year-old Thomas Francis Donaghy of O'Callaghan Road, Silverbridge abused his nephew, Michael Donaghy at the home of the boy's grandparents where his uncle also lived. The abuse began when Michael Donaghy was 10 and his uncle was in his mid-40s. The child shared a bed with his uncle at the Silverbridge farmhouse on over night stays and Judge Stephen Fowler QC said that Donaghy had caused his nephew "very significant psychological harm" with abuse which took place in a "regular and sustained manner."
He further added that it had been a "profound violation of the victim at a young and vulnerable age."
Michael Donaghy said that he felt motivated to report his uncle when is own son reached the age of 10, saying, "I suddenly looked at my 10-year-old son and how innocent he was and I had been that age."
Mr Donaghy said that he was "delighted that it's over" and expressed his thanks to his legal team, the PSNI, Nexus NI and Victim Support.
“I'd encourage people to come forward, there's lots of help there. It used to be a taboo subject but it's not anymore," he said.
“It's all about the sentence; it's for people to believe it and to know the truth," he added.
During the trial, it was claimed that Michael Donaghy had made up the allegations after discovering that another nephew was to inherit land from his uncle. Judge Fowler said that that claim had been rejected by the jury in the case.
The pensioner was convicted of eight counts of indecent assault and eight counts of gross indecency. He was also barred from working with children and vulnerable adults and a sexual offences prevention order was imposed for a period of five years. The Judge found that he posed a moderate risk of reoffending and that he lacked remorse for his actions.
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