Elderly man gets two year suspended sentence for sexually assaulting an infant at a child minders – TheLiberal.ie – Our News, Your Views

Elderly man gets two year suspended sentence for sexually assaulting an infant at a child minders


An elderly man from Co Limerick who sexually assaulted a two year old infant boy at a child minders has received a two-year suspended jail sentence.

78 year old James Kett of Faha, Patrickswell, Co Limerick, is believed to have abused the young boy in a bathroom of the child minders, on 12th October 2011. Limerick Circuit Court was told that the appalling incident took place when the man was apparently left to look after a group of children for ten minutes whilst the childminder went to collect another child.

It is understood that the shocking incident was revealed later that night when the young boy’s mother was putting her son to bed when he said “yum yum, my mickey mac”, the term he used to describe his genitals, the boy also  spoke of the older man. The boy’s  mother described what happened to her husband, he then rushed  to the child minder and the Gardai were quickly alerted. The court was also told that special garda interviewers were extremely challenged with the task of questioning the young child who was too young to be interviewed on camera.

The little boy told the interviewers what he had said to his mother and told them his clothes were off at the time as they were wet.
Meanwhile Garda Deirdre Foley gave evidence that the child moved his mouth towards his penis when he was describing what had happened. The little boy’s child minder co-operated fully with the Garda investigation and was utterly shocked about what happened. She told gardaí that the parents of the children she minded were aware that occasionally she would have to leave for ten minutes, but there was always somebody supervising the children.

Mr Kett was arrested immediately after the incident. He pleaded guilty to the offence, he also admitted “fiddling” with the boy’s penis for a minute and a half but strongly denied any oral contact.
Mr Kett a widower also said it had never happened before and said it was opportunistic. When quizzed about whether or not if he had enjoyed it the pensioner replied: “I won’t say that I didn’t”.

Mr Kett’s Defence Counsel Brian McInerney told the court his client apologised unreservedly and said he was “disgusted with himself”. He also added it was an “isolated aberration in an otherwise unblemished life”. The court also heard of how Mr Kett’s wife died when his only child was three years old, and that he was recently diagnosed with cancer and has a tracheotomy. Mr McInerney claimed that there was no real benefit to impose a custodial sentence on his client who had no previous convictions.

Before passing down a sentence Judge Carroll Moran said that Mr Kett was put in a position of trust which he had broken and betrayed. He also said the child was very young and not in a position to resist. Judge Moran told the court that it was in the public’s interest to know that the offence had occurred in a child minders but ordered that further details of the location or owner not be reported.

Judge Moran sentenced Mr Kett to two years in prison although he suspended it for four years. He also ordered that James Kett’s name be added to the Sex Offenders Register for five years.

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