Convicted sex offender begs judge not to jail him over suicide fears

Convicted sex offender begs judge not to jail him over suicide fears

A boy who forced his young friend to have sex with him has pleaded with a judge not to jail him as it may make him suicidal.

The accused, who cannot be named to protect his victim's identity, was 15 when he abused the boy who was aged ten or eleven at the time. He told the child he wouldn't let him leave the house and would set his dogs on him if he didn't let him “do sex”.

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

At a sentence hearing today the accused handed in a letter to Judge Petria 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.”

A victim impact report on behalf of the boy was handed into court but not read out.

Judge O'Donnell said she was going to consider the matter before finalising sentence and asked the parties which dates suited them. Counsel for the accused said an April date was preferable.

The prosecution said the victim would prefer a February date as he has exams coming up and wants the matter dealt with as soon as possible.

Judge O'Donnell consented to the accused's request for a date of April 11th. She said the victim had now got his relief in the form of a conviction and what happened next, the sentencing, “is not of grievous concern to him.”

During the hearing prosecuting counsel Lisa Dempsey BL presented evidence 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.

The accused then put his penis into the boy's backside. He was then allowed leave the house and said nothing to his mother when he arrived home. He made a complaint in July 2011 but said he couldn't remember the date the incident happened.

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.

Conor Gallagher