74-year-old faces jail for indecently assaulting boy

Thomas Mooney
Thomas Mooney

A 74-year-old man convicted of indecently assaulting a boy he routinely paid 'a fiver' for sexual acts in the 1980s faces jail after losing an appeal against conviction.

Thomas Mooney (74), of Belvedere Place, Dublin 1, had pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to eight counts of indecently assaulting a boy when he was aged between 11 and 13 on dates between October 1983 and June 1985.

He was found guilty by a jury following an eight day trial and sentenced to four years imprisonment with the final two suspended by Judge Catherine Murphy on July 25 2014.

Mooney, who was granted bail pending his appeal, moved to have his conviction set aside today on grounds that a statement he made voluntarily to gardaí while not under arrest should not have been admissible in his trial.

Mr Justice Alan Mahon said the victim was persuaded to go to Mooney's flat to perform sexual acts in exchange for money. Mooney had been in his forties while the victim was at all times below the age of 15.

The three-judge Court of Appeal viewed a ten-minute video taken of Mooney confirming the contents of the statement he made to gardaí moments earlier.

In the video, Mooney confirms that he would pay the boy, usually 'a fiver', for sexual acts which never went to full intercourse and he stopped doing it when he knew it was wrong.

Mooney himself had been a 'rent boy' in his youth when he was 'stuck for money' and his interest in young boys was shared by him and more than half a dozen named men from the Dublin city centre area.

Mr Justice Mahon said it was noteworthy that Mooney appeared to be particularly attentive to everything read to him. He confirmed the accuracy of what was stated and acknowledged that it was information provided by him.

His general demeanour was that of a man who was fully engaged in the process and who did not appear particularly vulnerable, the judge said. Furthermore, there was nothing to suggest he did not understand the caution.

Mr Justice Mahon, who sat with Mr Justice George Birmingham and Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan, therfor dismissed the appeal.

Speaking after the judgment, Mr Justice Birmingham said Mooney's appeal had been dismissed and in the ordinary way, he would be going into custody.

However, his counsel had requested there be some delay.

The court was concsious that at trial the then 73-year-old had deteriorated since his interview and that process “certainly has not been arrested” noting that the bench had the opportunity to see him in court.

The matter was listed for Thursady July 30 next.

Unless there was some application in relation to the sentence, and the court heard that a sentence appeal was still live, Mr Justice Birmingham said Mooney should organise his affairs and prepare accordingly.

He will remain on bail on the same terms and conditions until July 30, Mr Justice Birmingham said.