Irish police are investigating a shocking act of depravity in Cork committed by a group of teenagers who forced an autistic boy to eat twigs and expose himself. The teens – some of them girls – filmed the crime and posted it on Facebook.
Liam Davin, the devastated father of the 14-year-old victim, spoke to a Cork radio station on Thursday about the multiple horrors inflicted on his son. The perpetrators laughed as they filmed the assault, and threatened the teen with further abuse if he told anyone.
The incident came to light on Monday when someone informed the Davins at their home in Carrigaline that the footage was on the Internet. Liam Davin was stunned.
“A young girl called to the door who I didn’t recognize and she just said, ‘Are you his dad?’ and then she told me the story of what had happened, the details of it.
“And I was just in shock. Disbelief is the word that comes to mind really. I was left reeling,” Davin said.
“She said they had stuffed things in his mouth and they pulled his trousers and pants down and they had filmed it and put it on the Internet.”
Davin reported the attack to the police, who are currently investigating. The abuse has left the family shaken to the core.
“At first I just couldn’t believe what I’d been told. I just wanted to think that didn’t happen to my son. Nobody wants to think anyone would do that to your son. It’s just so horrific,” Davin said.
“People have called him names in the past and laughed at him and stuff but he’s quite oblivious, but when I was being told about the incident, I was told he was bawling crying so I think he was aware he didn’t like this,” Davin said of his son.
“I’ve only heard one of the names of people allegedly involved, but I don’t know him. He got picked on because he’s vulnerable. He’s an easy target.
“Where another child might see trouble coming, he’s just not able to see it coming. He wouldn’t have known that was about to happen.”
According to RTE, Irish police have interviewed one of the six teens alleged to have taken part in the attack, which reportedly took place three weeks ago.
Local councilor and shop owner John A. Collins knows the victim well. The boy visits his store to buy football cards.
“He is a very inoffensive young man. It’s a horrendous thing to happen. It’s bad enough that you could do that to anybody, but particularly bad to do it to a child not capable of defending himself,” Collins told the Irish Examiner.