Man who preyed on girl while she was studying for Junior Cert is jailed

January 28, 2021

A man who groomed and defiled a 15-year-old girl while she was studying for her Junior Cert has been jailed for three years.

The man, who is now aged, 31, preyed on the girl from when she was just 14 years old sending her texts and then eventually meeting her.

The man was 24 when he first met the girl and she was aged 14.

He appeared at Letterkenny Circuit Court where he pleaded guilty to one charge of sexual exploitation of the girl and three further charges of defilement.

Details of their meetings as well as a range of texts between the pair were read out in court.

The man also asked the girl to send him pictures of herself naked but when she said she did not have credit he topped her credit up on her phone.

The man also sent a number of sexually explicit texts to the girl.

The court was also told that the man was aware the girl was aged 14 and that she was aware he was 24 when they began seeing each other.

The court was told the girl’s mother, who was in court, became aware of the contact between the two when her daughter was just 14 years old.

She had contacted Gardai immediately to raise her concerns and the man was later formally arrested.

After the man first appeared in court he broke his bail conditions and made contact with the girl and told the girl that he may be “locked up” for what he had done.

He also asked the girl to put some pressure on her mother to drop the charges against him.

Passing sentence Judge John Aylmer said there were a number of aggravating factors in the cases.

He said the most aggravating was the grooming of the child over such an extended period of time from such a relatively young age.

The other aggravating factors included the age difference between the victim and the accused, his knowledge of her age, the fact that he topped up her mobile phone credit to receive explicit images and also that the victim’s mother had approached him and complained about the incidents.

He said on the charge of sexual exploitation the accused merited a sentence of five years in prison and the charge of defilement also merited a sentence of five years.

Because of his guilty plea and the fact that he had no serious previous convictions and had a limited IQ, he would reduce the sentence to one of four years.

Judge Aylmer said he noted there was a clear indication from the Probation Service that there was a moderate risk of reoffending within the next fifteen years and there was a clear need for rehabilitation.

He suspended the final 12 months of the four years sentence on the agreement that he keep the peace for two years.

Other conditions that he stay away from his community for two years when he is released apart from Christmas, that he have no contact with the victim for fifteen years and that he undergo all counselling were also included.

Judge John Aylmer also said that the accused should remain on the Sex Offender’s Register for fifteen years and not to have any friendship with any girl under the age of 17 years.