January 2019

Man who plied boys with drink before abusing them in caravan is jailed

A man who plied two young boys with alcohol before sexually abusing them in a caravan in Co Donegal has been jailed for six-and-a-half years.

Terence Fitzpatrick had been found guilty of six counts of sexual assault and one count of indecent assault of the boys between 1989 and 1996.

Fitzpatrick, of Fitzpatrick Cottage, Kilsallagh, Bawnboy, Co Cavan, was formerly a bus driver from Belfast.

At the time of the assaults, he knew the boys’ families and was also a scout leader.

Letterkenny Circuit Court was told that despite being found guilty, Fitzpatrick, 68, still maintained his innocence.

One of his two victims were in court as the sentence was passed by Judge John Aylmer.

The court was told that the boys would travel to Donegal from Belfast where a relative of Fitzpatrick owned a caravan.

On occasions, the boys, who were aged between 9 and 14, were given small alcohol shandies to drink.

However, when an older relative of the boys would go to bed leaving them alone with Fitzpatrick, he would ply them with drink and then sexually abuse them.

On one occasion he made the boys take off the clothing and then he compared the sizes of their penises before fondling them.

Fitzpatrick also took one of the boys for a drive and sat him on his knee, allowing him to steer the car but fondled him on the journey.

He asked the boy if there was any chance of a blow job but was told no.

On another occasion, Fitzpatrick went to bed with one of the boys and masturbated him.

Despite the abuse, the victims said they never discussed the assaults as they were too embarrassed to.

They also told how Fitzpatrick told them not to discuss the assaults and said that he had a brother who was very dangerous and showed them a shotgun.

When arrested in 2015, the accused denied knowing either of the boys.

When one of the boys told his mother in later life that he had been abused by Fitzpatrick, she became suicidal.

The court was told that Fitzpatrick, who was accompanied to court by his sister, still maintained his innocence and has no previous convictions.

Judge John Aylmer sentenced Fitzpatrick on three separate charges of sexual assault and jailed him for six-and-a-half years, three-and-a-half years and three years with all sentences to run concurrently meaning he will serve six-and-a-half years in total.