Jailed man babysitting girl (13) gave her cans of beer before sexually assaulting her

Traumatised: The girl has lost interest in her education, avoids school and has run away from home
Traumatised: The girl has lost interest in her education, avoids school and has run away from home

A Cork man has been jailed for four years for sexually assaulting his former partner’s 13-year-old daughter while he babysat the girl.

Detective Garda Frank Morgan said that the man gave the teenager over four cans of beer before he abused her in her bed.

Timothy O’Leary SC, prosecuting, told the court that the victim wishes to waive her right to anonymity to have the accused named, however as she is still a child, she is not permitted under the law to do so.

The 34-year-old man pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to sexually assaulting the girl on May 22, 2013. He has no previous convictions.

Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy noted that although the man pleaded guilty to sexual assault, the plea was accepted on the basis of the court hearing the full facts and as such the court was entitled to take into account that the man attempted to have sex with the girl. 

He said the assault has left the girl deeply traumatised. She feels alienated and different from her school companions. She has lost interest in her education, avoids school and has run away from home. 

Mr Justice McCarthy accepted that the man accepts the “serious consequences” his actions had on the teenager and has made efforts to deal with his alcoholism while on remand in prison. 

He said his lack of previous convictions was his greatest source of mitigation. He sentenced the man to four years in prison. 

Mr Justice McCarthy noted that the man will be on the sexual offender's register which he said meant that he will be under the supervision of the gardaí on his release from jail. 

Det Gda Morgan told Mr O'Leary that the man’s ex-partner left him to babysit while she was away overnight. The court heard that, though the romantic relationship had ended, the couple had split on good terms.

Det Gda Morgan said the man left the house that evening to go drinking and visit the bookies. He returned later and shared four and a half cans of alcohol with the 13-year-old girl, before she went to bed.

The man then went into her room and put his finger into her vagina while pinning her down.

Det Gda Morgan said the girl later told gardaí that the man had also tried to put his penis into her vagina during the 20 minute assault. 

The man told gardaí that though he couldn’t remember everything, he accepted all of the girl’s allegations against him “if she is saying that.”

The teenager revealed in a victim impact statement read out in court, how she suffers flashbacks, panic attacks and feels claustrophobic in the classroom. 

She said she experiences daily “outbursts of anger which my family find impossible to deal with” and that her family are “always walking on eggshells” around her.

Det Gda Morgan agreed with Thomas Creed SC, defending, that his client had consumed “quite a bit of alcohol” and that his drinking had caused the split with the girl’s mother.

The detective further agreed that the man had expressed genuine remorse for what had happened and came to the garda station a short time after the attack.

Mr Creed asked Mr Justice McCarthy to take into consideration his client’s full co-operation, his early guilty plea, his remorse and previous good character.