February 2017

Irish woman’s joy as sex fiend brother is finally jailed after he was convicted of indecently assaulting his sibling


THIS is the first picture of the monster who first raped his sister when she was aged just three.

Michael Hughes, 57, from Cluain Beag, Nobber, Co Meath, is now serving a year in prison after he was convicted of indecently assaulting sibling Annamarie 

Although the paedophile pleaded guilty to four counts of rape and four counts of indecent assault between December 1971 and October 1973, he wasn’t convicted of rape because the law at the time claimed a child under 14 could not be guilty of rape.

Despite the court’s ruling, the fiend’s brave sister waived her right to anonymity to expose the evil actions of her older brother.

In an exclusive interview with the Irish Sun on Sunday, the sex abuse survivor also warned how her brother would always be a danger to children when he walks free from prison in a year’s time.

She said: “This will be the first time he will be afraid. Now that he’s behind bars, he’s the one who will be in terror in a dark room.

“The cockiness just drained from him when he was tapped on the shoulder and led to the cells. He got away with it for over 40 years but his twisted, sick and evil actions have now been exposed.

“When he was at court he was smirking at me but his swagger has now gone. He came into the court thinking he was walking out again but he left in a prison van and also as a convicted paedophile.

“He should have been convicted of rape because he took my virginity and my childhood. He was nothing but a bully and a monster and all I am doing is fighting back now.

“The abuse lasted from when I was three until 15, I was attacked repeatedly every day. I will never forgive him for destroying my childhood and he has never shown any remorse.

“No-one in my family knew about his evil tendencies because he was an expert at lying and manipulation.”

She added: “I’ve no doubt that I was unable to have children because of the damage he caused to my insides and there are times when I have been suicidal — unlike him, who tried to claim he was suicidal so he could earn sympathy from the courts.

“I live alone but even though I know no-one could come into my bedroom, I’m waiting for the bedroom door to open. If I do sleep I have flashbacks of him, they don’t go away.

“When I came out of court one day, I had to ask my sister for perfume because I could smell him. Smells could set you off, colours can . . . anything could set me off to remind me of the horrors I endured.

“No matter what age he was he should have been convicted of rape because he took my virginity. I can only take a shower if I’m with someone I trust. This is what everybody takes for granted.

“I don’t look in mirrors because I can see his face. I don’t have an identity, I have his identity. I can’t take a bath because I’m still panicking that he will come through the door. He always had control but now it’s my turn.

“I tried to block out this trauma by having an imaginary friend called Cecil. Cecil was a dinosaur and all I was doing was replacing one monster with another.”

During a hearing last December, the court was also told how a complaint about Hughes was first made to gardai in 1994.


But there was never any investigation and Hughes — who appeared stunned when he was led to his cell in court last Monday — continued to enjoy his freedom.

His crimes were only exposed when Annamarie contacted gardai in 2011.

She said: “I saw him at a family event and there he was playing happy families. It was disgusting. It was like butter wouldn’t melt and he just kept smirking at me.

“I was swamped with guilt but here he was enjoying himself without a care in the world. When I suffered a mental breakdown after this encounter I knew it was time to come forward and fight back.

“I had carried this guilt and shame for so long and I never told anyone. I was his favourite. He gave me pocket money and this was all about control, grooming and conditioning.”

Annamarie added: “He pleaded guilty but it means nothing. He’s done a lot worse and he knows this.

“He tried to say it was kids playing games but no three-year-old should have to play games like that. He knew what he was doing, it’s just him. He’s a twisted individual who knows how to manipulate and groom an innocent child.

Unable to expose her brother’s lies, young Annamarie voiced her torture in poems

“The case should have gone ahead in ’94 and it’s such a pity he wasn’t exposed then. I’m glad he’s in prison but I still think he will pose a danger to kids.

“He only stopped abusing me when I fought back. Like all bullies he stopped when he was confronted. He must also have known it was evil because he was brought up in a Catholic family.”

And although the rape victim welcomed her brother’s sentencing, she urged Ireland’s justice system to show more compassion to victims. She said: “I was very frustrated because I experienced delay after delay in getting my case to court.

“There were times he didn’t attend, there were times he claimed he was suicidal and then he signed himself in for psychiatric treatment.

“He never showed up for a sentencing hearing on October 10 after an apparent suicide . . . yet he was at a wedding. He didn’t look like someone who was suicidal.

“There’s no doubt the justice system needs to show more compassion to victims. It should work more with the victims. They need to have a better understanding.” The Dublin woman also paid tribute to the people who have helped her cope with the trauma in recent years.

During last week’s court hearing, Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy told how it was one of the “most harrowing” Victim Impact Statements that he had ever read.

The senior judge said: “Sadly, up to now she has not managed to recover from what happened her as a child and she still suffers.

“This woman lives in constant fear every day that he would get her. I don’t think he was not so young as to appreciate the seriousness of what he was doing.”