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Man who had sex with underage girl after giving her cocaine jailed for a year and ten months

The man was convicted of defilement by a Central Criminal Court jury following a trial last May.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

A MAN WHO had sex with an underage girl after giving her cocaine at a house party has been jailed for a year and ten months.

The 22-year-old, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the complainant, was convicted of defilement by a Central Criminal Court jury following a trial last May.

He had pleaded not guilty to having sex with a child on a date in June 2018 at a house in Dublin. He has 107 previous convictions which are mainly for theft and burglary type offences.

Diarmuid Collins BL, prosecuting, read the now 19-year-old’s victim impact statement into the record in which she stated that it is now the man’s turn to “feel the judgement and shame” and “my life has just started while yours ends”.

She said that the offence had “a massive toll on her life and mental being” and took a lot of her focus and resulted in “a big loss of motivation” that should have gone into her studying.

“It affected me mentally. I was made out to be a liar that sleeps around at 15 years old,” the statement continued before she added that the accused had “robbed me of my virginity”.

She said she is standoffish with men and struggles to trust them. “Trusting someone who I thought was a friend is what got me here today,” the woman said.

“It is not something that defines me and not all I am,” the statement concluded. “It has something that has me stronger. The only person who should feel shame is the person who caused it,” the teenager said.

Mr Justice Paul Coffey accepted that the offence didn’t involve a significant disparity in age between the teenagers and it was not a repeated offence. He took into account the fact that the accused gave the victim cocaine beforehand and didn’t use a condom.

The judge said that the man maintains his innocence and continues to deny any knowledge of his victim’s actual age.

Mr Justice Coffey said that the accused had a difficult childhood and fell into a pattern of alcohol and drug abuse at a young age, which in turn led to his “appalling criminal record”.

The judge noted that despite his record, the man didn’t have a history of sexual offending before he imposed a sentence of one year and 10 months consecutive to a term of imprisonment he is currently serving.

He also imposed a two years post release supervision having taken into account the man’s “psychological dependency on alcohol and drugs”.

Garda Sharon Duncan agreed with Ronan Munro SC, defending, that his client had come to the garda station himself two weeks after the party and said that there were allegations that he had had sex with an underage girl or raped her.

Duncan further accepted that the man said it was his understanding that she was sitting her Leaving Certificate so he assumed she was over age.

Munro said his client acknowledges that he should not have had sex with someone of that age. He said the man struggled with alcohol and drug addiction, but was keen to commit to drug treatment.

He asked the court to accept that his client had no previous convictions for sexual offences.

Additional evidence

Duncan told Collins that the teenager attended the party with friends who had just finished their Junior Certificate and the accused had ordered vodka and a crate of cider to be delivered to the house.

The teenager had taken alcohol and went upstairs with the accused when he asked her to go “upstairs to talk”. She said he asked her if she had ever kissed a boy before he leaned in to kiss her.

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She said she leaned back away from him, but he grabbed her and kissed her. They then returned downstairs where the teenager said her age was discussed and she confirmed she was 15 years old.

She told the jury during the trial that the accused “didn’t seem shocked by that”.

Duncan agreed with Collins that “sex took place upstairs” and that the victim lost her virginity that night.

The victim said the accused asked her if she was a virgin and she replied “obviously because you had to break me in”, which she said was in reference to her bleeding during the incident.

He later admitted that sex had taken place, but he denied that he knew what age the teenager was. He confirmed that she had taken cocaine off a leap card.

He told the jury during the trial that he was disgusted when he found out that the teenager was 15 years old, but admitted that he organised the party with a 15-year-old boy he had been working with at that time.

When asked during the trial if he was a 19-year-old arranging a party for a group of 15 years old, he maintained that he was “not a garda who would be checking ages at a party”.

He claimed his friend told him some of the people would be the same age as himself while others would be 15 years old.

Comments are closed to protect the anonymity of the victim.

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Sonya McLean

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