Advertisement

We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

The Criminal Courts of Justice Alamy Stock Photo
Courts

Irish celebrity goes on trial accused of engaging in sexual act with a 16-year-old girl

The man, who cannot be named, has pleaded not guilty to three charges.

A WOMAN HAS told the defilement trial of an Irish celebrity that she told him she was 16 before they engaged in any sexual activity.

The man (40), who cannot be named for legal reasons, has pleaded not guilty to three counts of engaging in sexual acts with a child under the age of 17 at locations in Dublin on dates between August and December 2010.

On the first day of his Dublin Circuit Criminal Court trial today, the young woman told Eilis Brennan SC, prosecuting, that she was 16 and on her summer holidays in July 2010 when she went to the Oxegen Music Festival with a friend.

She said she met the man on the final night of the festival. They spoke briefly, but it was very loud. She gave him her phone number after a security guard passed her his phone. They then met again and he kissed her for a minute or two.

Gaeltacht

The complainant said they messaged and chatted by phone over the following weeks, including while she was in the Gaeltacht.

The young woman told Ms Brennan that she initially told the man she was 18, but it became obvious during their conversations that this wasn’t her age.

She said the man sent her a text message saying “sweet 16” with a question mark. She said she “came clean” and told him she was 16.

She said it was “mortifying” and she thought he wouldn’t speak to her again.

“He told me his age was 27 and that I was too young for him. I thought that this is over.”

She said he messaged her a day or two later asking if she could keep a secret. She agreed and they continued to talk.

Workplace

The woman said she and the man arranged to meet in late August, but she couldn’t remember the exact date. She said they went for a walk and chatted.

She said they walked to the man’s workplace as he wanted to get something. She said the man kissed her in the stairwell of this building then “gently pushed me down to perform oral sex which I did”.

She said she went home after they left the building.

The woman agreed with Ms Brennan that they remained in contact after this. She said the man would ring her late at night and they’d talk about the sexual acts from their initial meeting and what she was wearing. She agreed they talked about it “quite often”.

She said they met again at his home before December 2010, but she didn’t remember the exact date.

She said they kissed, before mutually performing oral sex and masturbation. She said she thought she was in his home for 30 minutes to an hour.

The witness told Ms Brennan that she was going to the Deadmau5 concert on December 14, 2010 with friends. She said she met the man before this as he got her a ticket to the show.

She said they went to his house, where they mutually engaged in oral sex and masturbation. She then left and went to meet her friends at the concert.

She agreed she had been drinking before the concert, but insisted the man didn’t give her alcohol.

When asked by Ms Brennan, the woman said their relationship was casual, “never boyfriend and girlfriend”.

Cross-examination

Morgan Shelley BL, defending, told the woman that it is the defence’s position that she did not tell the man her actual age until she turned 17 in January 2011.

Under cross-examination, she accepted that she had lied about her age at the beginning of her interactions with the man, but insisted they spoke about her actual age before their first meeting at the end of August.

She disagreed with Mr Shelley that the man could have believed she was 18 during the entire month of August, saying that they spoke about her actual age before their first meeting.

She also rejected Mr Shelley’s suggestion that it was possible that the first alleged incident took place before she told his client she was 16.

When it was put to her by the defence that there is no record that she told him her actual age by text, she insisted she told the man before they met up in late August 2010. The court had heard earlier that the woman has lost her phone from that period.

Mr Shelley put it to the witness that she actually met the man for a coffee before the alleged first incident and told him she was 18 and studying media in college.

She insisted the first time they met was on the day when the first incident occurred and that she never told him she was in college.

The woman agreed with defence counsel that she performed oral sex on the man consensually and she wasn’t forced to do it.

The woman said she wasn’t aware if there were age limits at the festival. She also denied buying alcohol at the festival.

Mr Shelley put it to her that “you must have been able to pass yourself off successfully as over 18?” to which the woman replied “I don’t think security really checked us to be honest”.

The woman rejected the defence’s suggestion that she beckoned the man over and passed him her phone.

The woman told the court that she continued to meet the man occasionally after she turned 17. She said they would meet at a hotel bar where the man was staying, then go to his room where they engaged in oral sex and masturbation.

She said their relationship fizzled out when she went in college, but they kept in touch on and off over social media in a friendly way until 2020.

A former colleague of the accused man also gave evidence, saying he would have been working on a particular day in December and it would have been very busy.

When asked by prosecuting counsel, the witness said he “can’t really” recall any specific details about that date, however, it would have been a busy day with “all hands on deck”.

The trial continues before Judge Pauline Codd and the jury.

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.