Bardon opened up about his painful journey, marked by a gambling addiction, that followed a horrifying incident of sexual assault against a teenager he befriended at his local pitch and putt club. This revelation coincides with the victim, now 46, choosing to waive his anonymity, emphasizing the intertwining challenges of addiction and abuse.
The Perpetrator Spoke of His Troubled Life
During Bardon’s trial, he took the stand and issued a heartfelt apology for his actions. He expressed disappointment in himself, regretting that the event ever took place. He described the survivor as a gentleman, lamenting he had to go through that harrowing experience. Bardon embraced this accountability wholeheartedly, expressing his readiness to engage in ongoing treatment, marking an important milestone on the path to recovery.
I cannot assess why it happened. It was not in my nature or personality. It never should have happened.
During his trial, Patrick Bardon revealed the profound personal challenges he faced when the abuse came to light. At the time, he was living through severe personal tragedies like the passing of his father and younger sister. These events took a toll on his emotional and mental well-being, impairing his ability to cope with the allegations against him.
After these devastating personal losses, Patrick Bardon developed a debilitating gambling addiction, exacerbating his vulnerable position. The loss of his teaching job, a profession he viewed as a vocation, was a pivotal moment in his life. The subsequent period saw him withdrawing from society and living as a hermit.
Vulnerable Individuals Are Most Susceptible to Gambling Harm
Brandon faces a sentence of 10 years in prison and suspension in the final two years on strict conditions, including that he engages with the Probation Service for two years upon his ultimate release from prison and undergoes any sexual offender treatment program as recommended. These measures will hopefully allow Brandon to cope with his failings and addictions and become a better person.
The perpetrator’s descent into gambling addiction reflects Ireland’s rising problem gaming rates. Research by the Economic and Social Research Institute revealed that 1 in 30 adults in the country suffered from gambling harm. Such data is concerning, as problem gambling harms more than just the individual, potentially impacting their families and loved ones.
The case of Patrick Bardon reflects how the gambling industry can prey on vulnerable individuals, exacerbating their fragile condition and feeding other bad habits. The perpetrator’s story of abuse and loss should be a cautionary tale about the multifaceted nature of addiction and the need for a comprehensive approach to justice and recovery.