Thursday 22 March 2018

Man who blackmailed girl (13) into having sex with him using 'compromising' photograph jailed for six years

The CCJ complex
The CCJ complex

Fiona Ferguson

A foreign national who blackmailed a 13-year-old girl from his community into having sex with him using a “compromising” photograph has been jailed for six years.

The Central Criminal Court heard the photograph did not involve nudity and was not especially compromising but due to cultural differences it would have caused problems for the girl if her family became aware of it.

The girl had sent the picture to a different man but the accused had come into possession of it.

The 29-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect his victim’s identity, pleaded guilty to three counts of defilement of the child on dates between September and November 2012.

Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy said the offences had a “squalidity” about them and noted they had caused considerably difficulty for the young woman. He said he was taking into account that the victim had failed to receive family support to the extent that one might have hoped.

He noted the accused man's guilty plea and that he was not likely to re-offend.

Mr Justice McCarthy imposed a two year sentence on each of the three counts. He made the sentences consecutive to each other, noting if they were not consecutive the accused would have been punished for only one offence despite repeating the wrongdoing.

A local garda told Kerida Naidoo SC, prosecuting, that the accused man had been a family friend and had become jealous when the girl got a boyfriend. He came into possession of a “compromising” photograph of the girl that she had sent to someone else.

The garda said the accused man used the photograph to blackmail her into having sex, by telling her he would show it to her parents.

On three occasions he arranged to pick her up from school and brought her up to the Dublin mountains where he had sex with her. The girl did not want to have sex and told him so.

During one of the incidents he made a video. It was not explicit and the girl could be heard telling him to stop. On the final occasion he told her he would delete the image if she agreed to have sex.

The matter was reported to gardai in December and the man arrested and interviewed.

Sean Gillane SC, defending, said the accused man had a difficult enough background and a lot of responsibly had fallen on his shoulders as he grew up. He had a good work record and contributed to his family.

He handed in a number of reports and testimonials. He said his client was someone who was in general of a good nature, worked hard, was relatively quiet and responsible. He said he was not taking the impact on the victim lightly and had written a letter of apology.

Mr Gillane said the issue of jealousy should never have arisen and it seemed to trigger a response that was criminal and wrong. He submitted his client was otherwise of good character.

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