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Man who was aged 15 when he abused child gets suspended sentence

The victim was aged ten or eleven at the time.

Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

A MAN HAS received a two and a half year suspended sentence for forcing his young friend to have sex with him when he was 15 years old.

The accused, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the victim, abused the boy when he was 10 or 11 years old. He told the child he would not let him leave the house and would set his dogs on him if he did not let him “do sex”.

The now 21-year-old, was convicted by a jury at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court of defilement in his Dublin home on a date between January and July 2011. He had denied the charge.

Judge Petria McDonnell said this was a heinous assault carried out on a much younger boy.

Suspended sentence

The evidence during the trial and a victim impact statement confirmed the continuing effect the assault has had on the boy and this must be taken into consideration, she said.

Judge McDonnell suspended the sentence in its entirety for two years.

At a sentence hearing last January, the accused handed in a letter to Judge McDonnell saying “my sentence began the day I was accused of this disgusting crime”.

He said he did not think he could handle prison as he could feel himself becoming suicidal.

He told the judge he had several family members in the police force and that, before his conviction, he had hoped to become a garda himself.

He said he had to move abroad after being charged because neighbours kept “calling me horrible things like paedo and rapist”.

‘That’s sick’

Lisa Dempsey BL prosecuting, previously told the court that the boy was in the accused’s house playing computer games when the accused told him “I know how to do sex” and asked him to let him show him.

They boy said no “because that’s sick”. The accused said he wouldn’t let him leave the house and that he would set his dogs on him.

The boy later recalled the accused had three “vicious” dogs.

Following the anal abuse, the boy was allowed leave the house and said nothing to his mother when he arrived home.

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He made a complaint in July 2011 but said he couldn’t remember the date the incident happened.

Living abroad 

Defence counsel Bernard Condon SC said his client was very into music and physical activity. He said he was now living abroad but had returned home every time he was due in court.

Counsel submitted that the offence “was at the lower end of the range” as there was no evidence of pain, injury or threats after the fact.

He said that if the matter had been reported and processed sooner his client would be a minor and would likely receive a suspended sentence.

Judge McDonnell said she noted that the offence was an isolated incident, it was opportunistic and on the mid to lower end of the scale.

She said there was no evidence of grooming and no violence, though there was a threat with regards to dogs, and these had to be taken into consideration when sentencing.

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Jennifer Ryan

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