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Wexford man 'had sex' with ex's 13-year-old sister

CourtsBy Sunday World
The man was 19 years old at the time of the offence
The man was 19 years old at the time of the offence

A Wexford man who” had sex with” his ex-girlfriend's 13 year old sister has been sentenced to three years with the final two years suspended.

The 25-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the girl, pleaded guilty on the morning of his trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to defilement of a child at his home on March 2, 2010. He was registered a sex offender.

The man was 19 years old at the time of the offence. The investigating garda confirmed the girl did not want to give evidence at trial or to provide a victim impact report.

He has 42 previous convictions, including possession of knives, drugs and theft offences. He has been on bail pending sentence and has not come to any garda attention since 2010.

The man was arrested the following day but denied any sexual contact during interview.

He claimed that the teenager had been pursuing him and he had arranged for her to come to his house so he could “let her down gently”. He told gardaí if his DNA was found on her it would be as a result of them sitting shoulder to shoulder on the couch.

The garda told Fiona McGowan BL, prosecuting that the man's DNA was found on the girl's underwear, following forensic analysis and he was re-arrested in July 2010. He again denied any sexual contact and re-iterated that his DNA was on her because they had been sitting beside each other.

Judge Patrick McCartan said he was satisfied that there was “nothing approaching consent” in the case and noted that there was a significant age gap between them.

He said the girl had been “young and impressionable” and “was in the hands of a more experienced person”.

The judge accepted that there was a suggestion that she had been infatuated by the man but said he had texted her that evening inviting her to his home.

“He also had the presence of mind to hide her when someone called to his home,” Judge McCartan said after commenting that the man knew what he was doing was wrong.

He said he was prepared to be considerably lenient because the man had made “significant changes in his life pattern” having heard evidence that he has not come to garda attention in six years and has now settled down with a partner and is a father.

Judge McCartan suspended the final two years of the three year term on strict conditions.

A local garda told Ms McGowan that the girl reported the incident to gardaí the following day and said she had called to the man's house after he texted her.

She said they were cuddling on the couch and then began kissing before the man asked her to pull down her pants. She protested but he had sex with her before asking her to leave the room as a friend of his was about to call over.

She later went to her friend's house to sleep over and told her mother what happened the following day.

The garda confirmed that the teenager has decided that she didn't want to make a victim impact report because she wanted to move on. She now has a baby and has “settled down with a partner”.

The garda accepted a suggestion from Michael Durack SC, defending that it was possible that the girl was infatuated with his client.

He said he was aware that the man began abusing drugs from a young age, his parents separated and he was homeless as a young teenager.

Mr Durack said his client was now a relationship and had a three year old daughter. He suggested to the court that his client had “turned over a new leaf” and was no longer a threat to society.

By Sonya McLean