'Prolific Paedophile' | 

Irish children’s author jailed for historic sex abuse of two boys

Patrick Dorian Cowland (72), of Ballagh, Enniscorthy, County Wexford, was previously jailed in 1988 for sex offences against 17 young boys.

Patrick Cowland

Patrick Dorian Cowland, also known as Patrick Joseph Cormack, in 2018

Neasa CumiskeySunday World

An Irish children’s author has been jailed in the UK for three and half years for historic sex offences.

Patrick Dorian Cowland (72), of Ballagh, Enniscorthy, County Wexford, was previously jailed in 1988 for sex offences against 17 young boys.

He was extradited from Ireland to the UK in March this year after two more victims came forward and alleged that he had abused them decades ago.

He was sentenced to three and a half years imprisonment at Gloucester Crown Court on Monday, August 22.

The court heard that Cowland - who is also known as Patrick Joseph Cormack, PJ Cormack and Paul Curran - was also jailed in the UK in 2012 for selling indecent pictures of boys and possessing 1,000 indecent photographs of children with the intention of distributing them.

He received a 5-year sentence at his 1988 appearance at Bristol Crown Court, where he admitted to more than 500 offences involving at least 17 boys.

He was accused alongside two other men at that time, one of whom was described as a university academic while the other was a “well-known” BBC employee who died before police could question him about the allegations.

Prosecutor Robin Shellard informed the court of the two charges that have come to light since Cowland’s conviction in 1988.

He said that the two victims were unknown to each other and made their allegations independently.

Patrick Dorian Cowland, also known as Patrick Joseph Cormack, in 2018

“The first victim was aged about 12 when Cowland abused him between 1979 and 1982," said Mr Shellard. "As an adult, the victim underwent mental health treatment which prompted him to report to the police that he had been sexually abused as a child.

“However, the man was not mentally able to support a prosecution at that time as he was suffering from psychosis and other mental health issues.”

The court heard that the man who had previously made allegations against Cowland but was not mentally fit enough, said he was ready to support a prosecution in December 2017.

"This victim recalls that at his school he was chosen to be one of the actors by Cowland for a film being shot locally,” Mr Shellard said.

“After a few meetings with Cowland connected with filming, the boy agreed to go with him to a narrow boat during which sexual things would happen.

“The victim has blocked out much of what happened to him. At the time his mother noticed a change in her son’s personality at the age of 13, but was at a loss to explain why.

“The man believes he was sexually abused for almost two years and this would have been twice a month or so. He didn’t realise until many years later that what he had been through was sexual abuse.”

The court also heard that on November 29 2016, a second man contacted police and claimed that he was sexually abused by Cowland while he was playing for a local football team in the 1970s.

Cowland took the then 12-year-old to London on a trip, where nothing sexual happened, but on the way back his car “mysteriously” broke down.

"It was a planned ruse as Cowland had booked them into a hotel for the night,” Mr Shellard said.

“Cowland used this opportunity to take naked photographs of the boy and that soon evolved into sexual abuse.

“The victim suggests he was sexually abused by Cowland for three years.”

Children’s author from Co Wexford appears in UK court charged with child sex offences

In a statement, the first victim said he still suffers “from the effects of what Cowland did to me when I was a child.”

“I was a happy child until I met Cowland. I have now been diagnosed as schizophrenic, a condition which I believe was inflicted on me through Cowland's sexual abuse towards me.

“The court process has taken a long time, during which I have suffered a stroke brought on by stress. Despite this I have stuck with it. Cowland needs to accept responsibility for what he did to me and the effect it has had on my life and my family’s life.

“I will never be able to forgive him for what he has done.”

The second victim said: “Cowland has now admitted his offending and what he put me through. It will be small compensation to see him punished and stop him from doing this to anybody else ever again.”

The six charges Cowland admitted yesterday were of indecent assault and gross indecency offences against the two boys - one between 1973 and 1975 in Cheltenham and the other between 1979 and 1982 at locations in England and Wales.

Judge Michael Cullum told Cowland: “It is quite clear that at this time in your life you were a prolific paedophile. Your offending lasted for around 25 years, which includes the entirety of your offending with these two victims who are now grown men.

“Your real offence in relation to these two latest victims is robbing them of their childhood.

“The only appropriate sentence I can impose is an immediate custodial term and that is three-and-a-half years.”


Today's Headlines

More Courts

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices