Man who had sex with 14-year-old girl jailed for two years

The final year of the three-year sentence was suspended
The final year of the three-year sentence was suspended

A man who had sex with a 14-year-old girl after meeting her for the first time that day on a bus has been given a three year sentence with the final year suspended.

Michael Doyle was 22 years old when he met the now 17-year-old girl and her friend. He and his friend bought the girls alcohol on their request and the four later went to a local park. They continued to drink beer and whiskey and the girl had sexual contact with the other man.

The group then got a taxi to Doyle's father's home where he had sex with the girl after she woke up having fallen asleep on a bed.

Doyle (24), of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to defilement of a child under 15 years old at his then Dublin home on July 23, 2012. His 31 previous convictions including violence in a garda station, criminal damage, arson and handling stolen property.

Judge Patricia Ryan had adjourned the case in July after hearing the evidence to allow a probation report be prepared.

Today Judge Ryan noted his remorse and admissions in the case as well his low risk of re-offending in sexual matters. She also noted the serious nature of the charge and the age of the victim.

She imposed a three year sentence with the final year suspended on strict conditions.

Detective Garda Deirdre Quinn told Pieter Le Vert BL, prosecuting, that while the girl's friend told Doyle and the other man that she herself was 17 years old, the victim told them she was 14.

She said when the group arrived at the house, the girl's friend was concerned for her and told her not to go into the house. The friend waited in the taxi and continued to scream at the victim to stay with her.

In the meantime the girl's parents were phoning both teenagers and the victim's father spoke to the taxi driver. The driver later told gardaí that the girl went voluntarily into the house with both men and he dropped the second girl to her mother's home.

Det Gda Quinn said the girl fell asleep after Doyle directed her to a bedroom in the house. She woke up to find him in the room, they had sex and she fell back to sleep.

The girl's father later arrived at Doyle's house but she hid because she was afraid she would be in trouble for drinking. Doyle brought her to the front door and told her father that she had been playing with his younger sister.

Det Gda Quinn said the girl couldn't remember initially what had happened but she recalled having sex with Doyle the next day and told her mother. They reported it to gardaí and Doyle was arrested the following March.

He told gardaí he had sex with the girl but said he didn't realise she was so young and repeated this a number of times throughout the interview. He claimed she had asked him for sex.

Det Gda Quinn confirmed that Doyle was in custody pending sentence after a bench warrant was issued for his arrest when he failed to show up at a previous sentence hearing.

A victim impact report stated that the girl saw a counsellor for six months but she felt it didn't really help. She felt paranoid, her school-work was affected and she had flashbacks. She had found it difficult to cope with comments from peers and she had become more self conscious, experiencing feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Det Gda Quinn accepted a suggestion from Caroline Biggs SC, defending, that there was no question of pre-meditation or pre-planning in the offence and her client had no history of sexual offending.

She agreed with counsel that although her client accepted that he bought alcohol for the girls, he did so at their request.

Ms Biggs told Judge Ryan that her client was four years old when he discovered his mother dead in their home. She and his father both had addiction problems.

Ms Biggs said Doyle had both an addiction to cannabis and prescribed medication at the time and submitted that he had been drinking very heavily that day.

By Sonya McLean