Man avoids jail over sex conviction

A 31-YEAR-OLD man whose wife caught him kissing and cuddling with the babysitter promised to end his affair with the teenager but it became an intense sexual relationship over the following months.

The man, who pleaded guilty to having sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of 17 on seven occasions, was before Cork Circuit Criminal Court for sentencing yesterday. The offences were committed between October and December 2008 in West Cork.

Judge Patrick J Moran made an order that the parties could not be identified. He imposed a suspended three-year sentence and put him on the sex offenders register for five years.

“You were aware she was underage (15 and 16 at the time) and you knew you were breaking the law. These offences are serious offences.

“You were brought up in a special school and your counsel says you were not capable of mental manipulation. You acknowledge what you did was wrong,” Judge Moran said.

Siobhán Langford, prosecution senior counsel, said the families of the complainant and the defendant had been friends as they lived near each other in a remote area.

The 15-year-old girl was babysitting for the children of the accused and his wife. The married couple were not getting on well at that time. In August 2008, the defendant’s wife walked into the sitting room to find him and the babysitter kissing and cuddling in front of the television. The defendant’s wife alerted the girl’s parents and between them it was decided that in the interests of the couple’s young children, the gardaí would not be called to investigate the matter.

The defendant was thrown out of the family home and was asked by the teenager’s parents to stay away from her and he agreed to this. However, the defendant met the girl, they chatted and she asked him to phone her.

There followed an intensification of the sexual relationship and there were several incidents of sexual intercourse over the following months before the relationship was discovered and the gardaí were then alerted.

Elizabeth O’Connell, defence barrister, said the defendant had moved out of the area and that his relationship with his wife had ended although he remains in contact with his children.

“He realises now that what happened was a criminal offence... He is sincerely sorry and does realise the full implications of what this means. He is terrified of the situation in which he finds himself,” Ms O’Connell said in advance of sentencing.

She said he did not have the moral and intellectual capabilities that would be of a normal standard.


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