A 33-year-old Co Donegal man has been sentenced to four years in prison after he forced a 13-year-old boy into a sex act after the pair met online.
The man preyed on the child after the victim had downloaded the Gadar gay dating website app on his mother’s phone.
The man, who is from the Inishowen Peninsula, travelled to meet the boy at his home while his mother had gone out for two hours.
The man was caught after the boy’s mother arrived home early to find her son being forced to perform oral sex on the man.
Judge John Aylmer told Letterkenny Circuit Court that he considered such an offence to carry a sentence of six years in prison.
However, because of a number of mitigating factors, he reduced the sentence to one of four years with the final 12 months of that sentence suspended.
The man was also ordered to sign on the sex offender’s register after pleading guilty to the defilement of a child under 15 years on April 13th, 2015.
The man showed little emotion when the sentence was passed but his mother and sister broke down in tears.
The victim, who is now aged 16, sat at the back of the court with his mother.
The court had heard how the boy had downloaded the website’s app and put up a profile of himself claiming to be aged 19 years old.
The court heard how the boy’s mother had left them in her home with his siblings while she went out for a couple of hours with her partner.
She gave the boy her mobile phone in case she needed to be contacted urgently.
Garda Malcolm Hooks told the court how the boy downloaded the gay contacts app Gaydar and put a fake profile claiming he was 19 years old on it.
In some of the other information contained in the profile, he admitted that he was just 13.
On another part of the profile, the boy wrote:”I’m not a porn star I’m a 13 year old.”
Within a short time, a meeting between the man and the boy had been arranged at the boy’s home in another part of Inishowen.
The man showered and then drove to the boy’s home.
In a later interview with Gardai the man admitted that when the boy answered the door to him he thought he was aged “sixteen or seventeen.”
Garda Hooks said that when the boy was interviewed by specialist interviewers and he claimed that the man forced him to give him oral sex.
During the sexual encounter, the boy’s mother returned unexpectedly and witnessed the incident.
The accused man’s sister gave evidence that up until this incident her family never knew he was homosexual.
She added that he was deeply ashamed of what had happened and was willing to accept any punishment that came his way.
Barrister for the accused, Mr Colm Smyth, SC, said his client came from a very respectable family who were all shocked by what had happened.
He said a report from a forensic clinical psychologist found the man to be immature and introverted and that he had difficulty recognising his bisexuality.
But the psychologist added that he found no evidence of any interest in paedophilia.
The man told the psychologist “I’m not that kind of person and I’m disgusted with myself. If I can fix this in any way I will.”