A Wexford man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for raping and sexually abusing a boy up to six times a night over a five-year period.
The 45-year-old man, who is the brother of the victim's father's partner, pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to a number of sample charges of sexual assault, rape, and oral rape between 1 October 2007 and 30 September 2012.
He also pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation in his home in Wexford town on a date between 1 October and 31 October, 2012.
He was registered as a sex offender when he pleaded guilty on an earlier date.
The victim, who was eight when the abuse started, told gardaí if he ever said "no", the man said he would "do it harder".
He said the abuse happened "well over a hundred times" and included touching, oral rape, and rape "sometimes up to six times a night".
Mr Justice Paul Carney handed down a 15-year sentence with the last three years suspended.
He took into account the gravity and multiplicity of the offences, which happened over an extended period of time.
Mr Justice Carney also took into account the breach of trust and the affect on the victim.
In mitigation the judge took into account the absence of previous convictions and his strong work ethic.
The judge also ordered that he undergo 18 months post-release supervision.
A local detective sergeant told Caroline Cummings BL, prosecuting, that the then 13-year-old boy disclosed the abuse to his parents in October 2012 and gardaí were alerted.
He had previously confided in some friends and they had warned him that if he did not tell his mother and father, they would.
The man was arrested in October 2012 and although he initially denied abusing the boy, he eventually made full admissions and was co-operative with the investigation.
The detective sergeant confirmed that a number of medical reports before the court confirmed that the victim had suffered physical injuries from the abuse and has had suicidal thoughts from a young age.
His fourth class teacher discovered a note written by the boy outlining his wishes to kill himself.
His parents were aware that their son was having general problems in school at the time and put these thoughts down to those difficulties.
The detective sergeant read the now 14-year-old's victim impact report in which he said that while the abuse was going on he was confused and too ashamed to tell his parents.
He said he had been terrified as the man had threatened to hurt him, his cousin, sister, and mother if he disclosed the abuse.
The teenager said he thought if he killed himself no one would get hurt by the man.
He disclosed the abuse because he had wanted "it to stop and had had enough". He said he was relieved after talking to his parents and now he feels like himself again.
His parents had also prepared reports outlining how proud they were of their son for his courage in disclosing the abuse and how it had affected the whole family and extended family.
The boy's father said the man had destroyed his son's childhood and innocence with his "filth and perversion" and that he carries a scar that no one should have to bear.
The man had destroyed his faith in human nature but he was proud of his son for overcoming the abuse and not letting it get to him.
His mother said she was heartbroken for her son and devastated after reading his statement.
The detective sergeant agreed with Michael O'Higgins SC, defending, that although his client denies ever threatening the boy, he made admissions and his guilty pleas had greatly eased the worries of his victim.
He accepted that the man told gardaí he had been abused himself and confirmed that the alleged culprit is known to local gardaí and has served time in prison.
Counsel said his client acknowledges that this fact does not justify "in any way" what he had done, nor was he offering it as an excuse for his behaviour.
The detective sergeant agreed that he had helped the man source a programme for sexual offenders that he has since engaged with.
Mr O'Higgins said his client "apologises profusely" for his actions and told Mr Justice Carney that he has "suffered serious consequences", including the loss of his job and his family.