AN elderly man, who tricked a teenager into disclosing his mobile phone number and sent him nauseating sexual texts and made indecent phone calls to the teenager, was given a suspended jail sentence after paying €9,000 compensation.
John Geaney, 65, of Ballinahina, White’s Cross, Cork, paid €6,000 to the teenager and €3,000 to charity. Judge Patrick J Moran was told Geaney had no resources to raise further money and had sold his car in order to raise the €9,000.
Judge Moran described Geaney’s gathering of compensation as resulting in considerable hardship to himself. He then imposed a two-year suspended sentence for the offences.
Geaney previously pleaded guilty at Cork Circuit Criminal Court to sending four indecent texts to the boy last June and causing annoyance, inconvenience or anxiety by persistently making sexually explicit phone calls to the 15-year-old.
Garda Vincent Hurley said the teenager did not know the accused and was effectively picked at random.
The victim got out of a school bus about 200 metres from his home in Co Cork and Geaney pulled up behind him in his car. Geaney told the boy he was expecting an important phone call but didn’t know if he could receive it because the phone had gotten wet so he asked the boy to ring his number to see if it was working.
Also at this time he asked the boy a number of questions of a personal nature. Shortly after 10.30pm that night, the teenager received the first of a series of texts of a sexual and lewd nature but he did not immediately connect the texts with the encounter he had after school that day.
At first the teenager thought it was a prank but he began to get worried about the calls and texts so he told his parents who brought him to the local Garda station. Some of the calls were linked to Geaney’s phone and gardaí subsequently obtained a warrant to search the defendant’s home where they found two more phones.
Joe Ward, barrister, said the defendant admitted the offences, sparing the injured party the distress of testifying. He said the defendant received psychiatric attention previously and his condition was aggravated by alcohol and the death of his sisters.
The court heard the injured party was very concerned about why he had been picked out and had lost a lot of confidence as a result of what happened.
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