Man jailed for sexual assault of young neighbour when he was 15

The man, now 24, had pleaded not guilty and continues to maintain is innocence despite his conviction was January
Man jailed for sexual assault of young neighbour when he was 15

Claire Henry and Sonya McLean

A man who was 15-years-old when he sexually assaulted his six-year-old neighbour has been jailed for 16 months.

The 24-year-old Cork resident, had pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to sexual assault of the child, in the victim’s Kildare home on October 14th, 2014.

The man has no previous convictions and has not come to garda attention since.

He was convicted by a jury last January, but the court heard that he continues to maintain his innocence.

The court heard the boy was a frequent visitor to the home of the girl, and on the day in question, the girl came downstairs and told her mother that she was bleeding.

When her mother asked what had happened, the girl first said she fell off the bed when she was playing with her younger brother. Her mother thought this was unusual as there had been no noise and questioned the little girl some more.

The mother saw blood coming from the child’s vagina and noticed cuts on the girl's private area. The mother asked if the accused had touched her, and the girl said yes.

The boy was asked to leave the house, and an exchange took place on the doorstep between the boy and the girl's family.

Judge Elma Sheahan said the victim impact statement stated in “the clearest of terms” the psychological upset she suffered following the assault. “This case graphically illustrates the many different ways such offending impacts on a child, physically, emotionally and socially.”

She said the case was more serious as the girl had suffered physical injuries and the accused was a neighbour who was welcomed into her home, as a neighbour and a friend.

Judge Sheahan accepted that the man co-operated with the garda investigation, had no previous convictions, had worked since leaving school and has not come to garda attention since. She also noted that his mental health has suffered over the past number of years.

The judge imposed a sentence of 16 months after noting that the man “continues to maintain his innocence”, she said she did not see “any evidential basis for suspending the sentence as he has not gained insight into his offending”.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can call the national 24-hour Rape Crisis Helpline at 1800-77 8888, access text service and webchat options at, or visit Rape Crisis Help. 

In the case of an emergency, always dial 999/112. 

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