Friday 20 September 2019

Man admits defiling 14-year-old girl after collecting her from Wesley teenage disco

Stock picture: Getty
Stock picture: Getty

Isabel Hayes and Jessica Magee

A man who admitted defiling a 14-year-old girl who he collected from a teenage disco in Dublin has been sentenced to four years in jail, with the final 12 months suspended.

The man, then aged 19, had agreed to drive the teenager home from the Wesley disco in Donnybrook, but he made her perform oral sex in his car on the way, a court heard.

The 21-year-old man cannot be named to protect the identity of his victim.

He pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to one count of engaging in a sexual act with an underage girl on July 17, 2015. The court heard he has intellectual difficulties.

Passing sentence yesterday, Judge Melanie Greally praised the girl's courage in coming forward at a young age for what she said was a "very difficult process".

Judge Greally said the girl had been "manifestly intoxicated and unwell" at the time she got into the man's car, and was entirely dependent on him to get home. She said the man took advantage of all this and of the significant age difference between them "for his own sexual gratification".

The judge agreed with counsel for the defence that it was undoubtedly an "opportunistic offence", but said that this was not a mitigating factor, on the contrary.

She said the "extreme intimacy" of the sexual act involved, combined with the "severe and lasting impact" on the girl, placed the offence in the middle of the range in terms of seriousness.

"It is no exaggeration to say that her road to recovery will be a lengthy one," said Judge Greally.

She gave the accused man credit for pleading guilty, for his previous good character, his cooperation with gardaí, his remorse and his limited intellectual capacity. She suspended the final 12 months of the sentence.

Judge Greally described the girl's victim impact report, which was not read out in court, as an "honest and extremely well-expressed account" of the pain, isolation, emotional turmoil and loss of trust that she has suffered.

Irish Independent

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