Jury fails to reach verdict in sexual abuse trial

A jury has failed to reach a verdict in the trial of two brothers accused of sexually abusing their younger brothers over 40 years ago.

The trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard allegations that the defendants repeatedly abused the two children in the years between 1979 and 1988. One of the complainants testified that he was raped up to 1,200 times over a number of years.

The boys were members of a large family and the alleged abuse occurred at the family home in Dublin. Neither of the defendants can be named to protect the anonymity of the complainants.

The eldest brother, who is now aged 55 and living in Co Meath, had pleaded not guilty to 35 sample counts of indecently assaulting his two younger brothers on dates between 1979 and 1985. The second oldest brother, now aged 50, pleaded not guilty to 16 sample counts of indecently assaulting his younger brother between 1985 and 1988.

On day six of the trial, the jury of seven women and five men deliberated for just under five hours before the jury fore-person told Judge James McCourt that they were unable to reach a verdict.

She told the court that they were “deadlocked”. Judge McCourt had earlier directed jurors that the court could accept a majority verdict on which at least ten of them agreed.

Judge McCourt thanked the jurors for their service. He had been addressing the jury throughout via video-link from his home where he is social isolating because of a close contact with somebody who has Covid 19,

After discharging the jury, Judge McCourt remanded the defendants on continuing bail to appear at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on October 12th.