Wednesday 18 September 2019

Teen who took part in oral sex with girl (12) 'was in fear of older boy' - court hears

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)

Declan Brennan and Brion Hoban

A teenage boy who took part in oral sex with a 12 year old girl 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 that 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 ten 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 of the incident though this 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 ten second long incident.

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 that 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.

She said 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 years old.

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

She said he bitterly regretted his actions and was offering an unreserved apology to the victim.

The report shows that he had displayed a considerable extent of victim awareness and of the harm to her psychological well being and her reputation, counsel said.

"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 today, Mr Justice Micheal White said there were "particularly demeaning" aspects to the offence for which this defendant was not responsible.

Mr Justice White said he accepts 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.

He 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 and offence focused work.

The older accused, now aged 20 and due for sentence in October, cannot be identified in order to protect the anonymity of the complainant. The younger defendant cannot be identified because he is a juvenile.

The victim told the court that before these incidents she was flourishing with confidence and had lots of hopes and dreams.

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

She quit doing a lot of sporting and social activities which she had enjoyed because of a fear of seeing the boys and said she was threatened by members of their family.

She has had suicidal thoughts and has self harmed. She described being hospitalised from an overdose after seeing one of the boys and becoming upset.

She said she was in such fear of bullying that she started to carry a knife with her when going out.

She said she is hoping to get on with her life and is looking forward to doing her Leaving Cert exam.

Detective Garda David Jennings told Anne Marie Lawlor SC, prosecuting, that the victim had been in contact with the older boy on Facebook and they agreed to meet.

He said they met in a field where the boy was with other boys. The court heard she was dragged and pushed over to the edge of the field.

She told gardaí she had a feeling that something bad would happen but ignored her gut feeling.

The boy put his hands over her and on her legs and she felt uncomfortable. He made her kneel down and was manipulating her head.

She said this continued for some time and she felt really dirty. She said some of the other boys were taking photographs and they showed her some of them.

The younger accused was in this group but did not take any photos.

The victim said you could see her face and this showed her "giving a b***job", the court heard.

She felt horrible that others would see the image and she would get a name for herself.

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