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Mayo barman found guilty of sexually assaulting two young girls

Mayo barman found guilty of regularly sexually assaulting two young girls

A Mayo man has been found guilty by a Central Criminal Court jury of regularly sexually assaulting two children in the pub where he worked over eleven years ago.
The 39-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded not guilty to 16 counts of sexual assault and 13 counts of oral rape against one girl, as well as 14 counts of sexual assault, 13 counts of oral rape and one count of anal rape against the second child, between June 1999 and September 2000.
The girls were between eight and ten years old at the time of the alleged offences.
Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan yesterday remanded the man in custody and adjourned sentencing to later this month.
Earlier in the trial, the first complainant, now 20 years old, told Ms Deirdre Murphy SC, prosecuting, that she and her best friend would go to her mother’s work place after school and would watch cartoons in a nearby pub where they regularly used the toilet.
She said that they began to be sexually abused together during their visits by the accused who was a bar man.
She said he would give them money and gave her cigarettes and cider. She said she ‘became addicted to smoking’ after that.
She said the abuse eventually stopped after she went to the pub on her own and he grabbed her and squeezed her and put his hands down her trousers.
“I was going to tell my mother, but I didn’t, so me and my friend decided not to go to the pub anymore,” she said.
She said she didn’t complain to gardai until 2008 as she never wanted to tell anyone as she thought the abuse was her own fault.
“I thought it was me and I was afraid my mother would lose her business,” she said.
She denied a suggestion by Mr Patrick Gageby SC, defending, that nothing indecent had happened and said, “Of course it happened. I would never lie about something so disgusting.”
Speaking after the verdict one of the victims said her life could now ‘really begin’. The second victim said that the guilty verdict was ‘a dream come true’.
Detective Superintendent Michael Larkin who headed up the investigation praised the ‘excellent and professional manner’ in which local Mayo gardaí carried out the investigation.