A Dublin man who pulled a 15-year-old girl into a shed on his property and sexually assaulted her has been jailed for ten months.
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that the girl's father became aware she had received messages from his 39-year-old friend in 2014.
The girl subsequently told gardaí that this man had grabbed her, pulled her into his shed and sexually assaulted her by touching her breasts and genital area under her clothes.
The man, who cannot be named to protect the victim's identity, pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting the teenager in Dublin on a date in August 2014. He has previous convictions for minor road traffic and public order matters.
Garda David Sheffield told Antonia Boyle BL, prosecuting, that the girl's mother brought her to a garda station after the text messages came to light.
During a specialist child interview, the teenager revealed that she believed her friend had given the man her number and that he'd texted her about going to the shed. She said she eventually agreed to go to the location and that he later threatened to kill her if she told anyone what happened.
Gda Sheffield said the father-of-one was subsequently arrested and denied forcing himself on her or touching her genital area.
The garda said he did admit to getting her to masturbate him, saying she was “annoying him”, but that this was never part of the girl's allegation.
Ms Boyle referred to the teenager's victim impact statement in which she described how she had no trust in people and felt like something bad was going to happen.
Gda Sheffield agreed with Philip Sheahan SC, defending, that there was a disparity between the girl and the man's accounts of what happened. The garda further agreed the man had no previous convictions for sexual offences.
Mr Sheahan submitted to Judge Martin Nolan that his client had a good work history and was overwhelmed and ashamed for what he had done.
Judge Nolan said he had to take into consideration the mitigating factors of the man's plea of guilty, his remorse and his co-operation with the investigation.
He imposed a sentence of two years but suspended 14 months on condition that the man keep the peace for the entire period.
He noted that the man would be registered sex offender and would lose his occupation in life because of this offence.