Ex-priest jailed for altar boy abuse

Irish Times
July 13, 2010

A former priest who was jailed earlier this year for sexually abusing an altar boy has been sentenced to another 15 months for a similar offence.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that Patrick Hughes (82) “targeted and bullied” his 10-year-old victim, telling him he would make sure he has a miserable life and that he would go to hell. In between the abuse he would make him pose for pictures in women’s underwear which he would use to blackmail him into silence.

The court heard the boy’s parent’s reported the abuse to Hughes’ superiors in 1974 but that nothing followed from this.

In a victim impact report the now 49-year-old victim said Hughes was “so monstrous it was not possible to describe him in words.”

He said he had been stonewalled by church and blackmailed by the accused into silence. He said the abuse “destroyed his innocence and destroyed his life” and he has not been able to hold down a job as a direct result.

As a result of the legislation in effect at the time, Hughes faced a maximum of two years in prison for the offences. Judge Katherine Delahunt ordered the 15 month sentence to commence immediately, meaning it will be partially concurrent with the one year term he is currently serving.

She said the victim’s report made for traumatic reading and it was clear Hughes had affected his life greatly. She also commended the victim and his parents for their courage in reporting the abuse.

Judge Delahunt said the abuse seemed more significant than the previous case but took into account Hughes’ age and his payment of €50,000 in compensation to the victim in 1993.

Hughes, of Park Drive Court, Castleknock pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to 10 counts of indecent assault at various Dublin locations between February 14th, 1970 and February 13th, 1974.



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