Man gets two years for having sex with 14-year-old girl

A 31-year-old man has been jailed for two years for having sex with a 14-year-old girl.

He was 24 at the time of the offence in Sligo in 2012 and claimed he thought the girl was older.

The court heard the accused and victim had been drinking at an apartment in Sligo with some other people when they had sex in a bedroom.

The victim, who was at a vulnerable time of her life, pretended she was two months pregnant in the hope that it would put him off.

When the accused was questioned by gardaí he told them he thought the girl was 18 or 19 saying: "I’d know if she was 14 or 18".

The court heard the victim had had to get psychiatric help following the offence.

The accused was due to go on trial for rape but pleaded guilty to the defilement of a child under the age of 15.

Judge Tara Burns said sight should not be lost that older men having sex with girls under the age of 15 is a very significant offence.

She jailed the accused, who has a long list of minor convictions, for three years with one year suspended and warned him she does not give people second chances.

She told the accused it was difficult for her to suspend the year and she has no hesitation in making him serve it if he breaches any of the conditions.

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