Thursday 21 September 2017

Man had sex with girl (13) after befriending her on Bebo

Sonya McLean

A MAN who had sex with a 13-year-old girl after befriending her on a social networking site has been remanded on bail pending sentence.

The 24-year-old Dublin man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, used a false name and claimed to be 19 when he requested a friendship with the teenager on Bebo.

He later admitted to her that he had used a false name and photograph but then became friends with the victim on another site and swapped phone numbers.

A number of text messages, some of a “sexual nature”, were exchanged before he arranged to meet the girl outside his local supermarket.

He then brought her back to the home he shared with his parents. They went upstairs to his bedroom and kissed before he asked for oral sex. He promised that he would not have intercourse with her.

The man later had sex with the teenager and anal sex. They then had sex a second time before going into the sitting room.

The man’s father, who had been in the back garden during the incident, came into the room and his son claimed he had been giving the teenager guitar lessons.

The man then brought the teenager back to the supermarket where he had initially met her and bought her a number of bottles of vodka.

Her mother, who had thought her daughter had been meeting a friend, later collected her from outside the same supermarket.

The man pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to two charges of defilement of a child at his home on April 29, 2011. He has a previous District Court conviction for possession of a knife.

Garda Loraine Killilea said the man was arrested in May 2011 after the girl identified the house she had been brought to.

He made full admissions and said he had known the girl was aged 13 but claimed she had consented to all sexual activity.

A victim impact report was prepared for the case but not read out in court.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring said she had concerns that the man had both “groomed and targeted” his victim.

“He falsely represented himself both in name and age and built up a trust,” the judge said before she adjourned the case to later this month pending an updated psychological report.

She noted that a report prepared for the sentence hearing indicated that the man was at “a moderate to low risk” of re-offending but said she wanted the report updated to specifically address “the targeting element” of the case.

“It is one thing to meet someone in an open social environment but to meet someone through social networking and not be honest about who you are,” Judge Ring said, before commenting that it was her understanding that most people were aware that Bebo is a social networking site which is mainly used by younger people.

Paul Greene SC, defending, said his client was genuinely remorseful for what had happened and has attended counselling.

“He has taken steps to deal with whatever led him to getting involved in this depravity,” Mr Greene said.

He told Judge Ring his client has “self-image” issues and low self-esteem after he was bullied at school.

Mr Greene submitted that a psychologist report concluded that his client had “insight” into what had happened. He added his client had €5,000 in court to offer the teenager as a token of his remorse.

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