John Trimble, a 39 year old County Offaly man, was sentenced to fifteen years in prison for crimes against his 69 year old mother and 70 year old father during a six month period in 2009. He pled guilty to harassment, endangerment, assault and false imprisonment.
The acts behind behind those crimes were so horrific that even Trimble's defence counsel admitted that it is “an extremely disturbing case, not only abnormal, defying the laws of nature.”
- Punched his mother in the face, giving her a black eye.
- Told his father "he hoped he would roll up in a ball and die of cancer". (Mr. Trimble's father was suffering from prostate cancer at the time.)
- Forced his mother into a scalding hot shower. She was treated at the hospital for burns to her neck as a result.
- Forced his mother to clean the kitchen floor using antiseptic wipes, on her hands and knees, naked.
- Forced both his parents to take cold showers and "drip dry" without a towel, often opening the rear door when it was cold, and forcing them to stand by it while wet.
- Would not allow his parents to use either the telephone or television.
- Would not allow his parents to attend either the removal or funeral when the father's sister died.
- Did not allow his parents to attend their grandchild's communion.
- Forced his mother to only walk in certain area of the house.
- Denied food to both his parents. They each lost about 40 pounds during this time.
- Would not allow his parents to close the bathroom or bedroom door when either of them were in those rooms.
- Forced his mother to do laundry in the back garden laundry shed while naked, regardless of the weather.
- Forced his father to take a cold shower if he touched anything he was not allowed to touch.
- Forbade his parents from contacting their other children.
- Refused his sister access to see her parents on numerous occasions.
- Forced his father, recently diagnosed with prostate cancer to call his doctor and tell him he was no longer going to use him as his doctor.
- Refused his parents any medical attention. They are both diabetics.
This abuse finally stopped when the Public Health Nurses went to visit the Trimbles after being informed by a family member. Although John Trimble was very abusive to them, and denied them entry to the house, they didn't just back down and file some paperwork. They came back with the Gardai. Many thanks to those two brave PHN's who did what was required to save the Trimbles' lives.
It is unusual for a family member to raise the alarm in Elder Abuse cases. Many thanks to the unnamed family member who did so here.
Of course many abusers profess remorse and sorrow when held to account. John Trimble is no exception. At his sentencing he said, “I've done very wrong judge and I am sorry and if I could turn back time I would, I am like a hermit, just on my own, I have no one to talk to anymore.”
“I am sorry, I really am, I love them to bits...”
John Trimble was also previously convicted by Portarlington District Court of harassing and stalking a neighbour in September 2000.
On November 7 2011, Trimble unsuccessfully appealed his 15 year sentence. Read more: Irish Examiner on Trimble's Failed Appeal
The Irish Times
The Irish Independent