Former rent boy, now 73, gets two years for sexually abusing Dublin boy in 80s

An elderly Dublin man who abused a boy 30 years ago has been jailed for two years after a court heard the victim was abused by a total of six paedophiles as a child.

Thomas Mooney (aged 73) was introduced to the victim through another man he met at a city centre amusement arcade. This man would take the child to a flat, abuse him and pay him IR£10 each time.

The court heard that in the 1950s Mooney had been a “rent boy” who had sold himself for money and that this was his first sexual experience.

Mooney of Belvedere Place, Dublin had pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to eight counts of indecently assaulting the boy, when he was aged between 11 and 13 years old, from October 1983 to June 1985.

Last month a jury of five women and seven men took just under two hours to unanimously convict Mooney after a five-day trial.

Judge Catherine Murphy said this was an exceptionally sad case and that the offending lies on the lower end of the middle range of these type of offences.

She imposed concurrent four-year sentences and suspended the last two years. She said she took into consideration Mooney’s age, the absence of other convictions and the fact that he was abused himself.

The victim said in evidence that he would have to masturbate and perform oral sex on Mooney up to twice a month for a couple of years.

He said that he would get IR£5 for each incident before going to a different flat to be sexually assaulted by another man.

Mooney admitted to gardaí in a voluntary statement that he had engaged in sex acts with the victim.

He told them that he had been a “rent boy” in the 1950s when he was stuck for money, but was never forced to have sex with the men who picked him up.

A psychological report said Mooney will struggle in prison because of his age, health and intellectual disability. He has no previous convictions and no pending charges.

The court heard the victim claimed he was abused by six men, including Mooney, over a two-year period.

He said a man he met at an amusement centre would take him to a flat and sexually abuse him in return for money.

He said this man introduced him to another alleged abuser, who introduced him to Mooney.

Fionnuala O'Sullivan BL, defending, said that there was no violence or aggression on the part of her client. She said his serious intellectual disability meant he had limited insight into the effects his actions had on the victim or the effects his own abuse would have had on him as a child.

She said the allegations first emerged six years ago but that Mooney wasn’t charged until 2012. One of the other alleged abusers is dead.

Mooney is a retired street cleaner for Dublin Corporation, now Dublin City Council.

He was known as “Corporation Tom” and also worked as a street vendor around Croke Park during GAA matches.

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