A man who sexually assaulted a neighbour's four year old son told gardaí he was not a "normal person" and wanted to be caught so he would no longer be a danger to children.
The now 30 year-old, who cannot be named in order to protect the identity of his victim, has been given a nine month suspended sentence by Judge Bryan McMahon Dublin Circuit Court.
He pleaded guilty to one count of sexually assaulting the boy at the defendant's west Dublin home on September 8, 2004.
Garda Lisa Daffy told Ms Lisa Dempsey BL, prosecuting, that the defendant touched the boy's genitals after the child wandered into his house.
The child's parents made a complaint to gardai and the defendant made a voluntary statement admitting he had touched the boy. He told gardaí the child had followed him into his house as he arrived home from work and had gone into his bedroom.
"I know what I am, I am not a normal person," he said and added that he would not usually allow himself to be in such a situation.
He said he played innocently with the child but then, without thinking, removed his own and the child's trousers and underwear. He touched the boy's genitals and asked the child to touch his.
He said he did not realise what he was doing until it was done and then stopped because he saw the look on the boy's face. The boy said he would tell and the defendant told gardaí he wanted to be caught so he would no longer be a danger. He said one image can trigger intense feelings.
Mr Kerida Naidoo BL, defending, said his client left his family home where he had been living with his mother and attempted suicide following the offence. He said his client was ashamed and apologised to the child and his family for betraying their trust in the most terrible way.
Mr Naidoo said his client was full of self loathing and tried to stay away from children. He had no previous convictions had sought treatment at the Granada Institute where he was assessed as being at moderate to low risk of reoffending.
The man was placed on the register of sex offenders and his sentence was suspended on condition that he stay away from the area in which the child lives and continue with a treatment programme at the Granada Institute.