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Predator sent explicit sex messages to two teen boys

A MAN who sent sexually explicit text messages to two teenage boys received an 18-month suspended sentence at Mullingar Circuit Court yesterday.

Brendan Grehan (40) of St Anne's Terrace, Athlone, Co Westmeath, was put on the sex offenders' register and placed under the supervision of the probation services.

He admitted sending the explicit messages to two 16-year-old boys over a 10-day period between November 5 and November 15, 2011.

The incident came to light when staff at a school were made aware of an explicit message on one of the teenager's phones.

Judge Anthony Hunt said the teenage boys "came across the accused at a function and he promised to get them drink". He asked them to text him in order to obtain their numbers.

Once he had the numbers, he began texting the two boys over the course of 10 days.

Grehan, who has no previous convictions, did appear to have held out "hope of some kind of sexual experience", noted Judge Hunt.

"He texted a number of explicit messages over 10 days," said Judge Hunt, who added, "one indeed contained an explicit picture message of private parts".

He was arrested shortly after the messages came to the attention of the gardai, who traced him through his mobile and a description provided by the teenagers.

Speaking of the two teenagers, Judge Hunt said "quite rightly" in his view, "they want to put it behind them and get on with it".

Although Grehan "did downplay some aspects" of his actions, he co-operated with gardai and pleaded guilty to the two counts of sexual exploitation.



Probation and psychological reports indicated Grehan's personal background was "unfortunate in many of its aspects," the judge remarked.

Grehan, who is single and living alone, was described by Judge Hunt as a man of limited capacities, limited experience in life and of limited social skills.

He handed down an 18-month sentence for each of the charges, which he suspended for two years. He also ordered him to attend treatment.

Grehan was placed on the sex offenders' register for 10 years.