Tipperary man sentenced for having sex with 14-year-old babysitter

CourtsBy Tom Tuite
The man was acquited of rape by direction of the trial judge
The man was acquited of rape by direction of the trial judge

A 23-year-old Tipperary man who had sex with an underage babysitter as he walked her home has been sentenced to four years.

The man, who can't be named to protect his victim's identity, pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to engaging in a sexual act with a child on February 3, 2013. He was acquitted by direction of the trial judge of raping the then 14-year-old on the same date.

The man has 21 previous convictions, including burglary, theft, criminal damage and drugs offences.

A local garda told Paul Greene SC, prosecuting, that the man began walking the girl home around 11.30pm.

He had sex with the teenager down an alley on the way and afterwards continued to escort her home.

The garda said the sexual intercourse took place over a brief time. The girl told her parents the following day and gardaí were alerted.

The man initially denied the allegations during interview a week later, but then admitted having sexual intercourse with the 14-year-old.

In a victim impact statement read out in court, the girl said the man took everything away from her, that she became “so unhappy” and “hated every single person”.

“It hurt me to smile. I didn't want to be here, I didn't want to be anywhere,” she said.

She added that she has come “a long way” in 2015 and that she has a loving and caring family.

The garda agreed with Patrick McGrath SC, defending, that the girl had previously been sexually active with a boyfriend.

Mr McGrath asked Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan to take into account his client's early guilty plea to the defilement charge and the fact he was remorseful.

He further asked the judge to consider that his client's previous convictions were committed when he was a child and that they were different in nature.

Counsel added that the man had reduced his alcohol intake.

Ms Justice Heneghan imposed a four term with the final 18 months suspended. The judge ordered that be registered as a sex offender and that he contact the Probation Service on his release to engage in a sex offenders treatment course.

By Aoife Nic Ardghail