Teenager who had sex with underage girl given 22 months in jail

He pleaded not guilty to having sex with a child on a date in June 2018 at a house in Dublin. He has 107 previous convictions which are mainly for theft and burglary type offences.
Teenager who had sex with underage girl given 22 months in jail

Sonya McLean

A teenager who had sex with an underage girl after giving her cocaine at a house party has been jailed for a year and ten months.

The 22-year-old, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the complainant, was convicted of defilement by a Central Criminal Court jury following a trial last May.

He had pleaded not guilty to having sex with a child on a date in June 2018 at a house in Dublin. He has 107 previous convictions which are mainly for theft and burglary type offences.

Diarmuid Collins BL, prosecuting, read the now 19-year-old’s victim impact statement into the record in which she stated that it is now the man’s turn to “feel the judgement and shame” and “my life has just started while yours ends”.

She said that the offence had “a massive toll on her life and mental being” and took a lot of her focus and resulted in “a big loss of motivation” that should have gone into her studying.

“It affected me mentally. I was made out to be a liar that sleeps around at 15 years old,” the statement continued before she added that the accused had “robbed me of my virginity”.

Repeated offence

She said she is standoffish with men and struggles to trust them. “Trusting someone who I thought was a friend is what got me here today,” the woman said.

“It is not something that defines me and not all I am,” the statement concluded. “It has something that has me stronger. The only person who should feel shame is the person who caused it,” the teenager said.

Mr Justice Paul Coffey accepted that the offence did bot involve a significant disparity in age between the teenagers, and it was not a repeated offence. He took into account the fact that the accused gave the victim cocaine beforehand and did not use a condom.

The judge said that the man maintains his innocence and continues to deny any knowledge of his victim’s actual age.

Mr Justice Coffey said that the accused had a difficult childhood and fell into a pattern of alcohol and drug abuse at a young age, which in turn led to his “appalling criminal record”.

The judge noted that despite his record, the man did not have a history of sexual offending before he imposed a sentence of one year and 10 months consecutive to a term of imprisonment he is currently serving.

Psychological dependency

He also imposed a two years post release supervision having taken into account the man’s “psychological dependency on alcohol and drugs”.

Garda Sharon Duncan agreed with Ronan Munro SC, defending, that his client had come to the garda station himself two weeks after the party and said that there were allegations that he had had sex with an underage girl or raped her.

Garda Duncan further accepted that the man said it was his understanding that she was sitting her Leaving Certificate, so he assumed she was over age.

Mr Munro said his client acknowledges that he should not have had sex with someone of that age. He said the man struggled with alcohol and drug addiction, but was keen to commit to drug treatment.

He asked the court to accept that his client had no previous convictions for sexual offences.

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