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SEX ABUSE DROVE ME TO SUICIDE; Victim tells of 8yr hell.

A SEX abuse victim yesterday told how his life was made a living hell by the pervert cleric who was last year jailed for 36 years.

John Barrett, 47, revealed that he tried to commit suicide because of the abuse inflicted on him by Brother Ambrose, 72.

John was just eight when Br Ambrose - real name James Kelly - started abusing him at Lota outside Cork city. He said: "He abused me from the age of eight until I ran away from Lota when I was 16.

"The school was supp-osed to be for slow learners, but we learned quickly - all about sex abuse."

He called Br Ambrose, - of the Brothers of Charity - "Nighthawk" because of how he crept around the dormitories by night.

John was wakened nightly by Br Ambrose and taken to his room where the cleric abused him."He'd wake you around midnight and you'd be taken to his room until three or four o'clock in the morning," said John.

"One time I collapsed unconscious because I couldn't breathe with his weight on me - he could have killed me.

"It's a terrible thing to say but I was glad when a different boy was woken and taken to his room."

He also told how the torture nearly drove him to suicide.

"I wanted to kill myself I was so depressed - when I should have been enjoying my childhood."

But after years of abuse, John finally decided to flee from Lota and the nightmare he was living.

The pervert cleric was finally brought to justice after a six-year Garda investigation.

John gave evidence against Br Ambrose late last year when the cleric pleaded guilty to sexually abusing boys at Lota, near Glanmire.

Judge AG Murphy said Br Ambrose's behaviour had made the three victims' lives "little short of a permanent crucifixion".

John didn't want to be named at the time of the court case because he was coaching a young soccer team in Wexford where he lives.

But he is now adamant Br Ambrose - who was jailed for 36 years with a review date in 2001 - should never be released.

"His sentence is up for review in 18 months but they should throw away the keys and when he dies, I hope he rots in hell," he said.
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Author:Roche, Barry
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Apr 3, 2000
Words:379
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