Woman convicted of cruelty against her son at their Waterford home

Last week the boy’s father was convicted of nine counts of raping him between 2009 and 2011

Warning: This article contains content that some readers may find upsetting.

A mother has been found guilty of cruelty against her son after he was locked into a wooden box at their home in Co Waterford.

The boy, who is now 12-years-old, was taken into care in 2011 and is now receiving specialised treatment in the UK.

The jurors heard harrowing evidence during this seven-week trial - the most distressing of which came from the testimony of the boy himself.

The couple were originally facing 82 abuse and cruelty charges, but 60 of those were withdrawn towards the end of the trial.

The boy gave his evidence through a live video link in the presence of an intermediary who was allowed explain questions to him and clarify questions for him.

This was the first time such a measure was used in an Irish court.

His allegations were the prosecution's main evidence against his parents. The jurors were told there no one else witnessed the abuse.

The trial heard that the boy was raped by his father from the age of six.

On Friday, he was found guilty of nine counts of rape - but was acquitted of a further nine related charges.

He was also convicted on one count of child cruelty.

The court heard he pushed his son into a wooden cage-like box, locked it and left him there for up to six hours.

His mother, who is 38, was cleared of two counts of sexual assault on Friday - but the jury was asked to come back in this morning to consider the same cruelty charge against her.

They were told the court would accept a majority verdict just before 12pm this afternoon but returned with a unanimous verdict a few minutes later, having deliberated for eight hours and 16 minutes.

The boy's 64-year-old father was remanded in custody on Friday and his sentence hearing is due to take place on July 11th.

She arrived to court on bail today but her application to have that extended was rejected and she was also remanded in custody until her sentence hearing which has been pencilled in for July.