'Perverse' | 

Fake 'talent agent' who molested two kids in hospital toilet freed from jail

Clifford concocted elaborate ruse to convince unsuspecting mother to give him access to her son and daughter
Clifford posed as a talent agent to gain access to the children

Clifford posed as a talent agent to gain access to the children

Eamon Dillon

A fake talent agent who molested two young kids in a hospital toilet is back on the streets this week after serving his three-and-a-half-year sentence.

Brendan Clifford (36) stayed quiet when approached by the Sunday World shortly after his release from the sex offenders wing in the Midlands Prison.

Wearing a face mask, a baseball cap and dark glasses, he declined the opportunity to explain if he still remains a threat to children.

Clifford's evil scheme to convince a mother to trust him enough to hand over her kids to him was described as "devious" and "perverse."

At his 2019 trial, Judge Martin Nolan said that the court hears many cases and his case was on "the more curious end of the scale."

He said Clifford's behaviour was difficult to understand and could be described as "perverse".

Brendan Clifford declined to explain to our man Eamon Dillon if he is still a threat to children.

Brendan Clifford declined to explain to our man Eamon Dillon if he is still a threat to children.

He said the accused's actions was "very devious" and it was difficult to know if he would re-offend in the future.

An investigating garda gave evidence that the two victims were brother and sister aged nine and 10 at the time.

The victims' mother saw an online advertisement for what appeared to be a talent agency looking for children to take part in films.

The mother exchanged a number of emails with someone who claimed to be named Ciara Murphy and requested personal information about her children.

After sending on the information, the victims' mother received a call from a man claiming his name was David White and informing the woman that he was an agent.

"David" told the victim's mother that he was making a film about children growing up in Ireland.

The mother and the two kids began to meet with "David" and during these encounters the children would practice lines and take part in catwalk modelling.

During one of the meetings "David" said that the children had problems in their tendons and would need treatment.

"Ciara Murphy" sent the victim's mother an email asking for permission for the children to be treated by having cream rubbed on their legs, and the victims' mother gave her consent.

The nine-year-old boy began attending Tallaght Hospital with "David" on several occasions and had cream rubbed on his legs.

The 10-year-old girl also attended Tallaght Hospital with "David", but said she did not want to go back after an incident on February 23, 2015.

Brendan Clifford is driven away after serving his sentence in the Midlands Prison.

Brendan Clifford is driven away after serving his sentence in the Midlands Prison.

Her mother tried to persuade her to go back as she thought the treatment was necessary.

"David" tried to entice the girl to go to the hospital again by promising her tickets to Justin Bieber, but she refused.

The victims' mother became suspicious after "Ciara Murphy" sent an email which said her daughter's underwear would need to be removed during the treatment.

She contacted the talent agency named in the advertisement and discovered they did not have an agent named David White.

The boy told gardaí that on one of the occasions in the hospital, "David" brought him into the wheelchair-accessible toilet and told him to pull down his trousers and underwear.

He then rubbed cream on the child's legs, bum and penis.

The girl told gardaí that "David" had rubbed cream on her legs and stomach on two separate days in the hospital bathroom.

She said that on the third day he asked her to remove her underwear, but she refused and left the bathroom.

After his arrest, Clifford admitted that he advertised himself as a talent agent and had used the name David White.

He initially denied ever meeting the two children but later pleaded guilty to the offences.

When he appeared at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court in 2019, Clifford, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to the sexual exploitation of a child at Tallaght Hospital on February 23, 2015.

He also pleaded guilty to sexual assault of another child at the same location on an unknown date in 2015.

The court was told Clifford was a married man, the father of three children and had no previous convictions.

In mitigation, his defence lawyer said his client suffers from a number of medical issues including diabetes, depression and a lack of vision in one eye.

Clifford wrote a letter for the court in which apologised for the sexual offences he committed and expressed his sorrow for his "disgusting" crimes.

He said he was not looking for forgiveness as nothing could take back the hurt he had caused and that he had no explanation other than making "a grave error in judgement".

Judge Nolan said the mitigating factors in the case were Clifford's guilty plea, his co-operation, his insight into his misbehaviour, his remorse and his physical difficulties.

He sentenced Clifford to five years imprisonment, but suspended the final 18 months of the sentence on strict conditions, including that he follow all directions of the Probation Supervision for 18 months post release.

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