Sex abuser is jailed for five years

FA­THER OF THREE FROM BLESS­ING­TON PLEADED GUILTY TO ABUS­ING BOY OVER 25 YEARS AGO

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - By MYLES BUCHANAN

A fa­ther-of-three liv­ing in Bless­ing­ton has been jailed for five years for sex­u­ally abus­ing a 12-year-old boy more than 25 years ago af­ter he made the child be­lieve he wanted a re­la­tion­ship with him.

Alan Lyons (38) first re­vealed that he had been abused by Dirk Jager (57) while at­tend­ing psy­cho­log­i­cal ser­vices in prison, where he is serv­ing a life sen­tence for mur­der. He waived his anonymity so Jager’s iden­tity could be pub­lished.

Jager of Sandy­banks, Manor Kil­bride, Bless­ing­ton, pleaded guilty at Dublin Cir­cuit Crim­i­nal Court to three charges of sex­ual as­sault and three charges of gross in­de­cency on dates be­tween De­cem­ber 1992 and De­cem­ber 1997. Alan Lyons was aged be­tween 12 and 17 at the time, while Jager was 31 when the abuse started. Jager has a pre­vi­ous con­vic­tion for sex­ual as­sault from 1997 in­volv­ing a child.

A fa­ther-of-three has been jailed for five years for the sex­ual abuse of a 12-year-old boy over 25 years ago af­ter he made the child be­lieve that he wanted a re­la­tion­ship with him.

Alan Lyons (38) first re­vealed that he had been abused by Dirk Jager (57) while at­tend­ing psy­cho­log­i­cal ser­vices in prison, where he is serv­ing a life sen­tence for mur­der. He waived his anonymity so Jager’s iden­tity could be pub­lished.

Jager of Sandy­banks, Manor Kil­bride, Bless­ing­ton, pleaded guilty at Dublin Cir­cuit Crim­i­nal Court to three charges of sex­ual as­sault and three charges of gross in­de­cency on dates be­tween De­cem­ber 1992 and De­cem­ber 1997. Alan Lyons was aged be­tween 12 and 17 at the time, while Jager was 31 when the abuse started.

Jager has a pre­vi­ous con­vic­tion for sex­ual as­sault from 1997 which in­volved the abuse of a child in the mid-’90s.

Sergeant Ken Holo­han told Fion­nu­ala O’Sullivan BL, pros­e­cut­ing, that Lyons was jailed for life in 2000 af­ter he was con­victed of mur­der fol­low­ing a fa­tal stab­bing in 1998. He be­gan at­tend­ing psy­cho­log­i­cal ser­vices in prison dur­ing which he re­vealed that he had been abused as a child.

When gar­daí vis­ited him in Wheat­field Prison to take a state­ment he told them: ‘I was a kid and I never told him to stop. He just made me be­lieve this was what I wanted to do.’

The court heard that Lyons was 12 years old when he and friends be­gan at­tend­ing the yard Jager ran his busi­ness from in Dublin city to earn ‘a few bob’. Jager later took them into a hut he had there to show them how he had set up a dark room for de­vel­op­ing photograph­s. He later be­gan tak­ing photograph­s of the boys, ask­ing them to take their tops off in some sit­u­a­tions and then in­struct­ing them to pose in their swim­ming trunks.

Lyons be­gan to visit Jager without his friends and Jager con­tin­ued to take photograph­s of the teenager. He then be­gan ask­ing the boy to pose naked.

Sgt Holo­han said Lyons told gar­daí he was hav­ing trou­ble at home at the time and he felt safe with Jager. He said their re­la­tion­ship de­vel­oped into a sex­ual one.

‘It was full on be­fore he came of age,’ Sgt Holo­han told Ms Sullivan.

Jager and Lyons vis­ited a num­ber of B&Bs around the coun­try while Jager was work­ing erect­ing stag­ing and Jager sex­u­ally as­saulted the vic­tim on each of these vis­its.

Sgt Holo­han said Lyons turned 17 in April 1998 and their last meet­ing was in the sum­mer of 1998. Jager was ar­rested and in­ter­viewed in Jan­uary 2017 and made full ad­mis­sions.

Sgt Holo­han agreed with James Dwyer SC, rep­re­sent­ing Jager, that there are no on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions into his client and that al­though his own daugh­ters were in­ter­viewed by so­cial ser­vices fol­low­ing his ar­rest, ‘there has been no at­tempt with au­thor­i­ties to in­ter­fere with the fam­ily set up’.

Reading his vic­tim im­pact state­ment in court, Lyons said he had such a low opin­ion of him­self at the time.

‘My fam­ily knew some­thing was wrong but I couldn’t tell them.’ He said he started to mix with peo­ple in drugs and crim­i­nal­ity and said he felt safer with these peers ‘than my se­cret be­ing ex­posed’.

Lyons de­scribed feel­ing ‘dirty and vul­ner­a­ble’. He said Jager took away his in­no­cence, his hopes and am­bi­tions. ‘I was just some­thing to use and abuse,’ he said, but added that he had since de­cided he was never go­ing to be a vic­tim again.

‘I strug­gled with my sex­ual iden­tity. I was lonely and scared but all I could do was rage. My view of the world and peo­ple be­came so skewed. If any­one tried to help, I looked on them with sus­pi­cion,’ Lyons told the court.

In a let­ter from Jager to the vic­tim, read by his lawyer Mr Dwyer, Jager ex­pressed his re­gret.

‘I can­not ask for for­give­ness as I can­not for­give my­self,’ the let­ter con­tin­ued. He of­fered his ‘un­re­served apol­ogy’ and hoped that the vic­tim could ‘find peace’.

Mr Dwyer said his client is orig­i­nally from the Nether­lands and has owned a stag­ing com­pany for a num­ber of years. He is cur­rently on anti-de­pres­sants af­ter coun­sel said Jager made ‘a se­ri­ous at­tempt on his own life’ in June 2018.

Judge Me­lanie Gre­ally noted that Lyons de­scribed how his lack of self worth caused him to grav­i­tate to­wards peo­ple in crim­i­nal­ity and away from those who cared about him. She said he made a de­ci­sion never to be a vic­tim and de­vel­oped a ca­pac­ity for ex­treme vi­o­lence.

She said that the abu­sive be­hav­iour at such a sensitive and for­ma­tive age must have had a pro­found in­flu­ence on his per­sonal de­vel­op­ment. The judge noted that Jager con­tin­ued to sex­u­ally as­sault Lyons even af­ter he pleaded guilty in June 1997 to a sim­i­lar sex­ual as­sault.

She said that, hav­ing read disclosure­s made by Jager to the Pro­ba­tion Ser­vices, she was giv­ing lit­tle or no weight to his ex­pres­sions of re­morse.

Judge Gre­ally set a head­line sen­tence of five years for the sex­ual as­saults, which come with a max­i­mum sen­tence of five years.

She re­duced this to three-and-a-half years af­ter tak­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion the mit­i­gat­ing fac­tors such as Jager’s plea of guilty, the pas­sage of time since the of­fend­ing, his wife’s health dif­fi­cul­ties, and his work his­tory. The judge also noted the toll the case had had on Jager’s fam­ily and on his own health.

Along with con­sec­u­tive sen­tences for the of­fences of gross in­de­cency she set a to­tal sen­tence of six years but sus­pended the fi­nal year for five years on con­di­tion Jager en­gage with the Pro­ba­tion Ser­vices for one year.

A let­ter from Jager’s wife de­scribed the ef­fect the pros­e­cu­tion had had on their fam­ily and paid tribute to the ‘sen­si­tiv­ity’ of the in­ves­ti­gat­ing garda in deal­ing with the case.

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