Former teacher to be sentenced for indecently assaulting pupils at Limerick school

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Limerick District Court.

A FORMER teacher has been remanded in custody for sentencing after being found guilty of more than 40 counts of indecently assaulting pupils at a primary school in Limerick.

The 80 year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the identifies of his victims, had denied 43 counts of indecent assault on several of his former pupils.

He denied their claims that he had touched their genitals and rubbed their bodies underneath their clothing at the school between the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Following a trial at Limerick Circuit Criminal Court, a jury of eight men and four women returned unanimous guilty verdicts in respect of all 43 counts last Friday.

During the trial, the victims gave evidence the defendant touched their penises and backsides, and that he would put his hands inside their clothing and rub their nipples and stomachs.

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The man preyed on the pupils in the classroom, in a boiler/heater room, and in a bathroom at the school.

One victim gave evidence that the man molested him on an almost daily basis.

He said the defendant would approach him from behind, put his hands down the boy’s trousers or up inside his shirt, and fondle him.

“I didn’t want him to do it, but what could you do, he was the teacher, I was only 11,” the victim said.

Under cross examination from the man’s barrister, the victim agreed that when he gave his statement to Gardaí he did not immediately tell them the man had touched his penis.

The victim told the barrister he had given his statement to a “lady detective” and that he was ashamed to tell her every detail of what the man had done to him.

“How could you feel comfortable with saying that. He wrecked my whole life. I was on drugs because of him. I tried to commit suicide four times,” the victim told the man’s barrister.

Another victim gave evidence of a nervous atmosphere in the classroom, and the defendant would touch his genitals “once or twice a day, during the school year”.

“Sometimes he’d sit next to us, rub us over our clothing or under our clothing, either my penis or my bum, maybe once, twice a day,” said the witness.

The man was remanded in custody for sentence at Limerick Circuit Criminal Court on June 11.