Former Council manager given suspended sentence for child abuse

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A former senior manager with Derry City council has been given a two year suspended sentence for sexually abusing twp boys beginning in 1962.

Brendan O’Donnell aged 78, of 20, Ardglen Park in Derry, admitted two counts of indecent assault on males between September 1962 and September 1965 and September 1973 and September 1975.One of the boys who was aged between 9 and 11 when the abuse took place said that it had happened on several occasions when O’Donnell had taken him into his bedroom and abused him.

The other boy who was aged 11-12 at the time said there was one incident when O’Donnell brought him into a garage, showed him a pornographic magazine and then abused him.

The offences only came to light in 2013.

Defence barrister Mr. Brian McCartney said that no violence or threats had been used.

He added that there were two major problems one being the age discrepancy between the victims and O’Donnell and also the breach of trust.

Passing sentence Judge Donna McColgan said O’Donnell had acknowledged his offending behaviour.

She said he told a probation officer: “I couldn’t plead not guilty I knew I did it and I couldn’t add further to the turmoil in their lives.”

She said the offences were ‘a serious breach of trust’ and that O’Donnell had pleaded guilty at a late stage.

She sentenced him to 24 months in prison but said that due to the impact this would have on O’Donnell’s wife who he cared for she would suspended it for three years.