A 35-year-old man who made contact with a teenaged girl through Facebook ended up having sex with her 15-year-old-friend after buying her six cans of Dutch Gold lager.
Garda David O’Shea gave evidence at Cork Circuit Criminal Court, where the accused pleaded guilty to two counts of engaging in a sexual act with a child.
There was no suggestion of force or violence being used, but there could not be consent because of the age of the girl, prosecution barrister Siobhán Lankford said.
Garda O’Shea testified that the injured party travelled with the accused in his car as he drove to two locations in Co Cork. At one, there was sexual intercourse and at the other there was oral sex. Both offences took place on October 29, 2012.
Garda O’Shea said an unusual feature of the case was that the accused went to his local Garda station soon afterwards and said: “I am after doing something stupid.”
The reason he came forward, long before any complaint was made, was that he had become aware she had not returned home and her mother had filed a missing person report.
Brendan Kelly, defence barrister, said the accused had shown remorse.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin was told the accounts given by the injured party, her friend, and the accused made for three different versions.
The judge said an aggravating factor was the age difference and the fact the accused had bought alcohol for the teenager.
On the mitigating side was evidence of him being a low risk of re-offending and his co-operation, which the judge said, “made and otherwise difficult prosecution viable”.
He sentenced him to a suspended two-year term.
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