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SOCIAL BOOKMARKS

Suspended sentence for teenager who raped boy and assaulted another

By Fiona Ferguson

A teenager who raped one 13-year-old boy and sexually assaulted another has received a suspended sentence on condition he continue to engage with multidisciplinary supports and treatment.

The now 18-year-old, was convicted following a Central Criminal Court trial in 2016 of one count of anal rape and two counts of sexual assault in the Midlands in July 2015.

The court heard the accused, who was 16 at the time of the offences, had a “sad and difficult upbringing” and was diagnosed with ADHD at a young age. Doctors later said he was also on the autism spectrum.

During his trial the accused said the incidents were consensual and described them as “an experiment gone wrong.

The court heard on an earlier date that the victims are still in counselling but are slowly getting over the events.

Mr Justice Paul Coffey last February deferred imposition of sentence for one year under a provision of The Children Act to allow “a meaningful multi-agency care plan” be put in place for the boy.

Mr Justice Coffey had noted at that time that a report stated that the boy was at a moderate risk of re-offending if support services did not urgently intervene.

He had said, in deferring sentence for one year, that he was prepared to suspend all or some of a prison term depending on the boy's progress and the services that were in place around him.

Today, Mr Justice Coffey imposed a three-year sentence which he suspended on strict conditions including that the boy should return before the court in one year's time for review.

He noted an updated report before the court and said the multi-agency supports were producing the desired results but not to the point where the case could be finalised definitively.

Mr Justice Coffey further ordered that the boy does not use intoxicants, has no contact with the injured parties or their families, abide by the directions of The Probation Service and avail of all services or treatments considered to be of assistance to him.

He also gave liberty to have the case re-entered before the next court date in January 2019 in the case of non-compliance with the conditions.

During the earlier sentence hearing the court heard the accused sexually abused one boy after meeting him near his home.

He met up with the boy a second time shortly afterwards and did the same thing. On this occasion he also raped the boy's friend.

A local garda told the court that the abuse came to light because the accused was telling other children that he “had sex” with the boys. The boys were very distressed at this and one of them told an adult what had happened.

In interview the accused was “very chatty” and “almost cheeky” to gardaí, his defence counsel Conor Devally SC said.

“At times he was showing some some signs that he was enjoying the spotlight, that he was enjoying the attention,” counsel said.

He said the interviews were “very free-flowing, unfiltered and contained unusual matters” such as recent television shows the boy had watched.

Mr Devally said his client had a “sad and difficult upbringing”. He was diagnosed with ADHD at a young age. Doctors later said he was also on the autism spectrum.

“He has always said perhaps the trial process will involve in him getting some sort of help, some sort of peace,” counsel said.

The court heard the accused had made three allegations that he was abused himself by others. One of these allegations is still under investigation, the garda said.