NewsCrime Desk

Paedo living beside school says he’s not dangerous and calls victims ‘liars ‘

Crime DeskBy Patrick O'Connell
Anthony Aidan Leacy confronted by our man
Anthony Aidan Leacy confronted by our man

A CONVICTED PAEDOPHILE who has set up home 500 metres from a rural primary school insisted: “The children are dead safe from me.”

In a shocking interview with the Sunday World, Anthony Aidan Leacy this week retracted his guilty plea to sexually assaulting a seven and eight-year-old girl in the basement workshop of his house, before labelling his helpless victims “liars”.

Leacy (57), was released from the Midlands Prison in August after serving two years for showing the girls sexually explicit materials and involving them in games where he would expose himself to them, weeks before they were due to make their first Holy Communion.

Incredibly, Leacy, who is now living in a bungalow a short distance from Shielbaggan National School in Wexford, this week told us one of the little girls made up the sexual assaults because she was jealous of his daughter’s collection of ‘Bratz’ toys and then convinced the other little girl to go along with her.

And the former OPW worker – who was employed at the Botanic Gardens in Dublin, Killarney National Park and Kennedy Arboretum in Wexford – claims he pleaded guilty to the shocking litany of offences only because his legal team advised him to do it.

“As far as I’m concerned it was pure jealously… jealousy over what my little one had,” Leacy claimed, in spite of his clear acknowledgement in court that everything the little girls alleged was true.

“The three of them were in the one school and my little one played football for the school at that time.

“And my little one had everything – everything.

“She had all the Bratz toys… Bratz was the big thing at the time and she had all the Bratz stuff... she had the Bratz electronic jeep, everything.

“Now that little one came to my house and she actually broke my little one’s stuff and fired it all over the house.

“And her father came in and he made her clean it all up – you know what I mean.

“It was just pure jealousy.

Our man confronted Leacy 

“It was two kids that, one made up the stories and got the other one to go along with her.

“This is going back to court. 

“One garda stood in court and said that I got the girls to strip off and to bend down and turn around in a circle and that kind of stuff… where does it end? 

“You know what I mean? She’s not getting away it for God’s sake. It’s slander.

“I didn’t plead guilty to that. 

“I pleaded guilty to the fact I showed the kids videos, DVDs, heavily illustrated pornographic material and they were supposed to have looked at my body through a magnifying glass. That’s as far as I can go.

“But there was no DVDs, no videos, none of that found in my premises. 

“And I know you’re standing there and looking at me and going ‘why would you plead guilty if you didn’t do it’?

“But I did, that’s what I did. I was feckin’ eejit, I was a shagging eejit.”

At his 2013 trial the court heard the offences occurred days before the youngsters were due to make their First Holy Communion.

On one occasion, he showed both girls adult pornographic books in the basement. When the little girls were confused about the content of the films, he offered a detailed explanation of sex acts to them.

Pervert Anthony Aidan Leacy lives in bungalow beside school

Leacy also used to play ‘special’ games with the girls in the basement, one of which involved him dropping his pants and exposing himself to them.

He also encouraged the little girls to mimic his actions and then remove their own underwear, exposing their private parts.

The only actual physical contact that took place between the defendant and both girls was when he lifted them over his shoulder and tapped them on their bare backsides.

On another occasion, he had his penis examined by the girls with a magnifying glass as part of one the games he played with them.

The offences came to light when one of the girls spotted her mother changing a baby’s nappy.

The girl, indicating a gentle tap on the backside, told her mother: ‘‘That is what Tony does to us.’’

Asked if he is still a danger to children Leacy said: “You must be joking me, I was completely and utterly set up.

“It’s a fairly sort of a strange thing. I was told weeks beforehand by one of the girls that the other girl was going to tell stories to get me into trouble.

“The little girls lied.

“I spent two years and three months locked up in prison for something I didn’t do.

“I only pleaded guilty on legal advice. When you don’t know anything about the law and you’re sitting in a garda station and have never been in a court in your life, it’s very easy to listen to your legal team and go along with them.”

Asked why anyone would plead guilty to such serious offences if they weren’t guilty, Leacy responded: “Well I did – but you would have to have been beside me at the time.

“I have another legal team working on it and I have the Innocence Project working on it and they came to visit me in prison.”

Asked whether he had anything to say to allay the concerns of worried parents in Shielbaggan, Leacy said: “The parents have no worries of me and that’s genuine. I know that and only I can know that.

“All I want is a quiet life and to go down the village and have some kind of a quiet life. The children are dead safe.”