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Man found guilty of sexually abusing three children in 80s still maintains his innocence

Peter O'Shea pleaded not guilty to all the charges put against him

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Claire Henry

A man who has been found guilty of sexually abusing three children in the 1980's still denies the accusations, a court has heard.

Peter O'Shea (55), of Aulden Grange, Santry, Dublin, was found guilty by a jury on five counts of indecent assault on three victims following a trial in Dublin Circuit Criminal Court in November 2021. He had pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The assaults occurred in the early 1980's in Dublin when the three victims ranged from seven to thirteen years of age. O'Shea still maintains his innocence and does not accept the jury's verdicts.

The court heard that the three victims lived in close proximity to O'Shea during the early eighties. At the time of the assaults O'Shea was aged between fourteen to nineteen years of age.

Garda Niall Gibbs told the court that the first victim was assaulted on three separate occasions by O'Shea. During these assaults, O'Shea offered the boy chocolate and then began to rub his groin up against the boy.

On a separate occasion, O'Shea performed oral sex on the boy while masturbating in an assault that lasted ten to fifteen minutes. The third assault on the boy involved O'Shea rubbing and touching the boy's arm, leg and groin.

The second victim was aged between eight and twelve at the time of the assault. O'Shea lifted the boy up by the genitals. Later, he asked the boy sexual questions and tried to pull down the boy's trousers.

O'Shea also showed the boy his penis and began to masturbate. O'Shea then pushed the boy onto a bed and tried to fondle him.

The third victim was aged between nine and thirteen at the time of the assault. O'Shea repeatedly asked the boy to show him his “willy”, stating “I will show you mine”. O'Shea then opened his trousers and tried to open the boy's trousers.

The assaults were brought to the attention of the gardaí after one of the victims disclosed the assault to a counsellor, who encouraged him to report it.

O'Shea was interviewed by the gardaí and denied all the accusations.

The three victims were present in court and had prepared victim impact statements, with one stating in his statement that he has pushed everyone who came close to him away.

While another victim said as a child, he "would cry himself to sleep and wish he was dead." Now, as an adult and a father, he has never let anyone babysit his children other than his mother.

Garnet Orange SC, defending, stated that his client does not accept the jury's verdict. The defence also outlined that at the time of the assaults, O'Shea would have been aged between fourteen and nineteen years. He has no previous convictions.

Ms Justice Patricia Ryan adjourned sentencing until March 1, 2022.

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