Sentence wait for teen guilty of false imprisonment of girl

File photo of the Children's Court

A student found guilty of false imprisonment of a teenage girl who was harassed as she walked to her home in Tallaght, Dublin will be sentenced in March.

The now 18-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was found not guilty of sexually assaulting the girl, who was aged 15 at the time of the incident.

However, he was found guilty of false imprisonment.

A pre-sentence probation report was furnished to Judge John O’Connor earlier this month and he noted the teen has refused to accept responsibility.

The judge commented that this was common in such cases in the Children's Court among defendants and their parents.

He had said they often under-estimated the impact – which could be life-long – on a victim.

However, he warned this limited the court’s options in terms of sentencing.

The defence accepted it was necessary for the teen to re-engage with the Probation Service. The service can assess likelihood of re-offending for the court and make recommendations aimed at diverting juveniles from crime.

Judge O’Connor said at the youth’s last hearing that he had no evidence he was willing to engage.

But he was informed by the boy’s barrister when the case resumed today that the teen was now willing to co-operate. Judge O’Connor adjourned sentencing until a date in March for an updated pre-sentence probation report to be prepared and furnished to the court.

The judge has said that he would take into account that the youth was aged 15 at the time of the offence and had just recently turned 18.

Garda Sergeant Kieran Kilcoyne, who prosecuted the teen, has asked the judge to note that the victim has been waiting three years for this case to be concluded.

The girl alleged he would not let her go and touched her after asking her to perform a lewd act on him as she walked home.

It happened in a public place when the girl was walking home from a friend’s house, a distance of about 1.5km, at about 8.50pm.

She was almost back on her own road when she noticed the accused and another younger looking boy.

The girl, who was interviewed by child specialist gardai, alleged the accused, who was known to her, called her name and she replied, “What?”.

It was alleged the boy, then aged 15, then asked her, “Can you give me head?” and she replied “No” and she continued walking but he followed her. He asked her again but she kept saying no, it was claimed.

The girl told gardaí that the teenager then grabbed her behind and put his hands on either side of her waist, “hard enough that she could not move”.

She maintained that when he let go she managed walked on but he followed and moved in front of her.

It was alleged he was facing her and holding her by the shoulders and made contact with her breast area, which prevented her from walking forward, and he said, “Give me a hug.”

It was alleged the girl managed to get him off by walking backwards but he grabbed her waist.

The girl got away and reached her house at 9.40 and told her mother who reported it to the gardaií that night.

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