Wednesday 18 September 2019

Photos used to blackmail girl into oral sex act with boy (14)

Central Criminal Court, Dublin. (stock photo)
Central Criminal Court, Dublin. (stock photo)

Declan Brennan and Brion Hoban

A young girl was forced to perform a sex act on a 14-year-old boy under "peer pressure" by an older teen who threatened to share photographs.

The 14-year-old has been ordered to complete 180 hours of community service.

The boy was 14 when an older teenager told the victim he would distribute pictures of an earlier sexual incident to their peers if she did not "give a b***job" to the younger boy.

Lawyers for the younger boy told the court he was in fear of the older boy, while the victim told gardaí she felt she had to do it.

Roisin Lacey SC, defending, said the incident, which lasted for about 10 seconds before the girl ran off, was stage managed by the older boy.

Her client, now aged 17, subsequently pleaded guilty to engaging in a sexual act with a child at a place in Co Dublin on August 25, 2015.

The Central Criminal Court heard that four days earlier the older boy forced the girl to give him oral sex while other boys, including the 14 year old, were present nearby. Some of these took images, though the defendant did not.

When she met the older boy again, he again forced her to perform oral sex on him before telling her that she had to "give a b***job" to the younger boy or else he would show the pictures of the earlier incident to others. The victim felt she had to do it and said she couldn't stop shaking during the incident.

"After they abused me, it totally changed me. They took away my independence," she said, adding that fear has taken her over now.

The defendant had his hands down by his side during the incident and did not touch the girl or say anything to her, Ms Lacey said.

She said the older boy had asked her client "are you going to be gay?", meaning was he afraid.

Her client believed there would be adverse postings about him on social media, she said.

Ms Lacey added that the incident was a once off act, stage managed by the older boy. Her client had just turned 14 himself and believed the victim was also 14.

She said a Probation Service report noted he had little understanding of the concept of consent, and didn't realise the victim and he himself were both too young to consent.

Ms Lacey said he bitterly regretted his actions and was offering an unreserved apology.

"He accepts he should have stood up to peer pressure to an older and more streetwise boy and should have done the right thing," she said.

Sentencing him yesterday, Mr Justice Michael White said there were "particularly demeaning" aspects to the offence for which this defendant was not responsible.

He accepted that the accused was acting under the influence of his older co-accused but that the younger boy nevertheless acted in a reprehensible way and participated in the humiliation of the victim.

Mr Justice White said the aggravating factors in the case were the seriousness of the offence and the impact the offence had on the victim.

He said the case was mitigated by the accused's age, his previous good character, the influence of the co-accused, the offence being out of character and his awareness now of the impact on the victim.

Mr Justice White ordered that the younger boy carry out 180 hours of community service in lieu of a one-year term of detention.

He also ordered that he remain under the supervision of the Probation Service for one year and engage in victim awareness training.

The older accused, now aged 20 and due for sentence in October, cannot be identified in order to protect the anonymity of the complainant.

Irish Independent

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