Man sexually abused girl after they walked her dog

May 21, 2022

A man who sexually assaulted a vulnerable young girl in Co Donegal has told a court that he never meant to hurt her.

The man, who is in his 40s, appeared at Letterkenny Circuit Court but cannot be named to protect the identity of the victim.

The man pleaded to the assault which took place on June 16th, 2019 after the man had spotted the girl who was out walking her dog.

The girl is known personally to the man but their relationship cannot be disclosed to with-hold her identify.

The court was told that after the man and girl had been out for a walk he invited her into his home for a drink of water.

He then began to kiss her but told her they would not be having sex.

However, the man undressed the girl, lay her on the bed and then sexually assaulted her.

The man warned her not to tell anyone but the girl later told an adult who contacted Gardai.

Gardai viewed CCTV footage of the area of the day in question and saw the pair together.

They later arrested the man and he made full admissions to the assault.

In her victim impact statement the girl said she had trusted the man but that every time she sees him now she feels sick and scared.

The man took to the witness stand and led by his barrister Colm Smith he said he wanted to apologise to his victim.

The man told the girl who was in court “I’m very sorry pet. You are a great friend and ….I always enjoyed your company. I’m very sorry pet.”

The man wept as he apologised to the girl.

The court was told the man had become completed isolated from the community and his family since the incident and was drinking a lot.

Mr Smith added “It is clear he cared for and loved her and he has to carry the burden of this breach of trust and that will be a heavy burden.”

The court was told the man has only previous convictions for minor traffic offences.

Judge John Aylmer said he will need time to consider the case and adjourned it until next Thursday for final sentence.