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Dublin: 9 °C Tuesday 31 March, 2020

Man who sexually assaulted friend's 13-year-old step-son jailed for five years

The 42-year-old man was aware the 13-year-old boy had recently come out as gay and that he had been a victim of previous sexual abuse.

Image: Sergign via Shutterstock

A MAN WHO sexually assaulted his friend’s step-son was aware the 13-year-old boy had recently come out as gay and that he had been a victim of previous sexual abuse.

The 42-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the child’s identity, pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to sexual assault at the child’s Dublin home on 6 November 2015.

Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy sentenced the man to five years imprisonment. The man will be placed on the sex offender’s list and will be under supervision for three years post-release.

A local garda told Anne Rowland BL, prosecuting, that on the evening in question the defendant and the victim’s stepfather had gone out together that evening. The defendant had some cannabis while his friend had none.

Back at the house the defendant joked in the kitchen with the victim about coming out and the boy was upset as he did not want people laughing.

The man was allowed to stay in the house that night with the arrangement being that he sleep in the living room on a couch.

Instead the man went upstairs and got into the top bunk bed with the child.

The victim was awoken by a pain caused by the defendant trying to push his penis into his bottom.

Afterwards the boy ran to his mother’s room and told them the man had been feeling him up. His mother and stepfather saw the defendant coming out of the boy’s bedroom.

The gardaí were contacted and the defendant tried to leave the house but was stopped from doing so.

A DNA profile taken from semen in the boy’s underwear matched the man.

The boy said in his victim impact statement the man was aware that he had been previously sexually abused.

He outlined how the incident had affected his life, including leaving him feeling anxious around men he did not know.

The boy had said he felt horrible and could not stop crying on the night.

The garda agreed with Dominic McGinn SC, defending, that his client had clearly been intoxicated on the night and had been unfit for interview for six hours.

McGinn said the defendant had a relatively normal early life until civil war broke out in his country when he was 16-years-old. Several members of his family were killed in front of him and he was left for dead.

He eventually came to Ireland as a refugee and became an Irish citizen. McGinn said the defendant became a constructive member of Irish society carrying out charitable work and establishing his own business.

He said the man, who has no previous convictions, was at low risk of re-offending and submitted this was a “once off event”. He said there had been an overuse of substances that the man had not been used to.

Counsel submitted that to jail his client at this stage would have a “disproportionally detrimental” effect on his life.

Mr Justice McCarthy rejected the proposal saying the case was “many, many miles away of any question of a non-custodial sentence” due to the victim being a child, the lateness of the guilty plea and the contrition of the man being “questionable”.

He said the fact that the man had climbed into the top bunk of the bed demonstrated an “element of malice and forethought” and that he could only have gone there with the intention of sexually assaulting the child.

Regarding the trauma experienced by the child, Mr Justice McCarthy said that “people are very resilient and I wish him well in the future”.

Read: Fourth man arrested after ‘significant’ amount of drugs seized in Drogheda>

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About the author:

Fiona Ferguson and Brion Hoban

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