Waterford abuse case: Mother jailed for 18 months over child cruelty

Boy's father was last week handed a 14-year sentence for raping him nine times

Waterford abuse case: Mother jailed for 18 months over child cruelty

Central Criminal Court in Dublin | File photo

A woman who failed to protect her son from his abusive father has been jailed for 18 months.

She had claimed his allegations of physical and sexual abuse at the family home in Waterford were all lies.

The woman, who is 37 and cannot be named to protect her son’s identity, was convicted in May on one count of child cruelty.

The abuse began when the boy was just six and continued until he was taken into care just before his eighth birthday in 2011.

Last week, his 64-year-old father was jailed for 14 years for raping him nine times.

Mr. Justice Robert Eager said the mother failed to protect her son even though she was aware of the extreme sexual violence inflicted on him.

The court heard she has shown little or no emotion since her conviction. No anger, guilt or sadness and she hasn’t shed any tears.

She maintains her innocence and claims her son, who is now 13 and living in a specialised facility in the UK, lied while giving evidence in court.

She told her psychologist that he had been manipulated in the care of the HSE.

Mr. Justice Eager accepted she came from an "appalling" and abusive background before handing down a three-year sentence, with the final 18 months suspended.

If you are affected by the issues described here, you can contact the 24-hour helpline run by the Samaritans, 116 123, or the Rape Crisis Centre, 1800 77 88 88.

Childline can be contacted by phone on 1800 666666 (24/7), by texting ‘talk’ to 50101 (from 10pm to 4am) or by live chat on Childline.ie (10am to 4pm).