Sunday 24 September 2017

Youth who pressured 13 year old girl into oral sex spared criminal conviction

Tom Tuite

A DUBLIN youth, who pressured a bullied 13-year-old girl into performing oral sex on him after another boy burned her with a cigarette lighter, has been spared a criminal conviction.

The 17-year-old had pleaded guilty at the Dublin Children's Court to defilement of the now 16-year-old girl. The boy, then aged 14, engaged in sexual sex with her, at a house in Dublin, three years ago.

Garda Suzanne Lavin had told Judge Ann Ryan that the girl, who is still going to counselling as a result of the incident, gave statements to Garda child specialist interviewers.

She had then been the youth's girlfriend but they had not been sexually active. Another boy present burned her on her stomach with a cigarette lighter. The teenage defendant then asked her to perform oral sex on him. “At first she said no. She states she refused a number of times and then she did,” the garda had said.

The court heard that she was “a quiet girl” and went to a counselling. There had been “a bullying issue at the time as well” and her counsellor found that her account was credible.

Defence solicitor Dara Robinson said that the boy too had experienced bullying as a result of the incident and there had been rumours that he had committed a more serious offence.

He asked the judge to take into consideration the boy's age and level of maturity at the time of the offence and that he had been experimenting sexually.

He also submitted that the boy, who was accompanied to his hearing today by his father, had co-operated with the Probation and Welfare Service and a positive pre-sentence report had been furnished to the court.

Judge Ryan noted the contents of that report as well as a victim impact statement from the girl, who was not present for the hearing.

The court heard that the girl did not want to participate in restorative justice work involving the boy or to have any contact with him.

The boy has no prior criminal convictions and intends to continue his education, the court heard.

Judge Ryan also noted that €500 for donation to a charity nominated by the victim and her family had been brought to court by the boy's family.

She said that she had considered the victim impact statement and the fact that the boy, in his work with his probation officer, had “done all that was asked of him”.

The judge struck out the case leaving the boy, who thanked her, without a criminal conviction.

Earlier the judge had said the offence went back “a long way” and she was aware of that fact from the points of view of both the boy and girl. “The sooner this matter is concluded both parties can move on,” she had said when the boy entered a guilty plea in April.

Another teenage boy, who burned the girl with the cigarette lighter, has pleaded guilty in separate proceedings to assault causing harm to her and is awaiting sentencing.

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