A MAN who was 14 when he engaged in sexual activity with his six-year-old niece has avoided a jail term.
The now 21-year-old Limerick man was charged with defilement and convicted in April.
Judge Patrick McCartan said that an immediate custodial sentence was not required. He imposed a three-year sentence and suspended it for five years.
The accused had pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.
A garda told the court that the accused was babysitting the girl when he committed the act in 2006. In 2008, the girl made a complaint and an investigation began.
The court heard he has six previous convictions for drug possession, trespass, theft and criminal damage.