Man jailed in child sex case

A man who had sex with a 16-year-old girl he contacted on Facebook has been sentenced to three years in prison, with the final 12 months suspended.

The now 29-year-old father of three, who cannot be named to protect the victim’s identity, was aged 27 when he met and had sex with the girl, nine days after contacting her on the social networking site.

He pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to two counts of defilement of a child in January 22 and February 4, both 2013, at two locations in Dublin.

Judge Desmond Hogan had adjourned sentencing for a probation report on the man. Read from the report yesterday, he concluded the man had no insight into the effect he had on the girl.

“It’s all about him and how it has impacted on himself and his family. He knew well what he was at. She may have been willing but she was underage.

“I don’t like using that expression because it is belittling of her but he knew what he was at — his own self gratification,” Judge Hogan said.

Caroline Biggs, defending, said there was no suggestion of a lack of consent.

Ms Biggs acknowledged her client’s lack of insight but said the Probation Service was happy with him overall and was willing to work with him in relation to victim empathy.

Judge Hogan said he believes a custodial sentence must be imposed considering the seriousness of the offence and refused to adjourn the case.

He sentenced the man to three years in prison and suspended the final 12 months on condition that on his release he co-operates with the Probation Service “so they can target areas for intervention”.

The court heard the victim’s parents haven’t had any recent contact with her and she has “gone off the radar”.

In the initial Facebook conversations, the man told the girl he was aged 25 and she told him she was aged 16, saying: “you’re a bit old”. She told him when her birthday was and he said they would have to wait until then.

Before their first meeting the man sent naked photographs of himself to her phone and she sent some naked photographs of herself to him.

During both sexual encounters the victim asked the man to stop because it was hurting her. The court heard he continued for a few minutes before stopping.

His nine previous convictions are all for road traffic offences, including a conviction for drunk driving. The court ordered he be registered as a sex offender.


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