A VICTIM of child cruelty told Ennis Circuit Criminal Court this week that he “often thought about killing his mother”, such was the level of violence in the home. The victim, who is now in his 20s but was aged between 12 and 17 during the period of abuse, described his life as “a living hell” and says he will “never be able to fully get over the horrible things” his mother put him through.
The young man made a disclosure to his school and gardaí when he was 17, detailing cruelty against himself and his three younger siblings between 2012 and 2015. He described being beaten with a boat paddle until it broke, being whipped with an electrical cable and being forced to do a handstand while his broken arm was in a cast. He said he needed to watch You Tube videos to learn how to remove the cast because his mother would not take him to follow-up hospital appointments.
He witnessed his brother being force fed-by his mother. He said she grabbed him by his nose and jammed food into his mouth. He also saw his mother shoving his baby brother’s face into a pillow to stop him from crying. He described his mother throwing a glass jar at and hitting his sister in the head and making her stay at home until her injuries healed.
Another witness told gardaí the mother was “as cruel to the children sober as she was drunk”.
The house where the children were living was described as “filthy, dirty and vermin-invested” and they regularly went without food.
In garda interviews, the mother described herself as “cruel, violent, pathetic, unhappy and unloving” and did not deny any of the complaints made by her children. She said she was “living in a fog”.
In a victim impact statement issued on behalf of the three youngest children, their father said, “A mom is supposed to love, care and protect you but she didn’t do that.”
Sentencing was adjourned to May 21, as Judge Gerald Keys is to consider documentation handed into the court.
By Carol Byrne