A Donegal man who met a young girl while she was working in a takeaway has been charged with having sex with her.
The girl was just 16 when they met and he was 27.
The man appeared before Letterkenny Circuit Court yesterday charged with counts of Defilement of a Child.
The offences relate to incidents between June 15th and August 8th, 2007 in the man’s jeep and also in his mother’s car.
Neither the accused or his victim can be named for legal reasons.
The court heard the man first saw her in a takeaway and got her mobile number from friends and started texting her.
They eventually met at the Donegal International Rally.
In a statement to Gardai, the girl said the man always knew she was 16 but she did not know he had a girlfriend.
Gardai were eventually informed of the affair by the girl’s mother after she began to receive texts from the man’s girlfriend.
The man was arrested and he admitted he had had sex with the girl.
He said he thought she was 17 but he had a fair idea that she may well have been 16.
Barrister Peter Nolan said that both people had put the affair behind them and were now getting on with their separate lives.
“I say that both parties want to get on with their lives and this should not attract a custodial sentence. This was a very brief and short fling and he should not have had sex with.
“There was no exploitation or any kind of grooming going on. When the girl’s mother found out then that was the end of it,” he said.
Judge Matthew Deery sentenced the accused to one year on each charge but ordered that he service 240 hours of community service in lieu of the prison sentence.