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defilement Youth who had sex with 13-year-old girl at a house party remanded in custody pending sentence

The offence occurred after the girl attended a house party organised by older teenagers while her mother believed she was staying at a friend's house

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A youth who had sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old at a house party when he was 16 years old has been remanded in custody pending sentence.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard the offence occurred after the girl attended a house party organised by older teenagers while her mother believed she was staying at a friend's house.

The now 19-year old man pleaded guilty to defilement of the girl on a date in June 2018.

Fiona Murphy SC, defending, told the court the plea had been entered to a charge of defilement of a child between the age of 15 and 17 years old as the accused man believed the girl was 15 years old.

This offence carries a maximum sentence of seven years imprisonment.

A prosecuting garda told Elva Duffy BL, prosecuting, that a group of boys were invited to a house party organised by older teenagers known to the victim without the knowledge of adults.

The court heard that in the early hours of the morning, he was alone in a bedroom with the child and had sexual intercourse with her. The girl later told a relative and the incident was brought to the attention of the gardai.

The accused was arrested and said while he did not recall the date of the "free gaff" he accepted he had been invited over.

He admitted having sex in the bed with the girl.

He told gardai that the girl had told him previously she was 15 years old and that was his belief.

The garda agreed that the child presented as someone who was rather innocent or naive and that she was in the presence of older and more mature teens on the night.

A victim impact statement was handed in but not read in open court.

The accused has a number of previous convictions for offences including theft, drugs and public order offences.

Ms Murphy said it was a "horrible situation" and the accused was genuinely sorry for what happened and the effect on the victim.

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She submitted he had fully engaged with the investigation and it shows his level of remorse that he had followed through with a guilty plea.

She said the accused had an unstable home background and after his parents separation he "fell through the cracks" as an older teenager.

Counsel said her client had no convictions post 2019 and had attended on all court dates. She said given the offence before court it may be necessary for the him to engage with a course in relation to this type of offending.

Judge Melanie Greally said this was undoubtedly a very serious offence and there was quite an amount of material to consider in relation to sentence.

She said she was concerned about the conclusions in the probation report and psychological reports that he was not engaging  with the need for intervention in order to minimise the risk of general and specific reoffending.

She said she was going to remand him in custody to given him a chance to "reflect on his position" and ordered updated reports for the next date in October.

Judge Greally said his conduct in the meantime would have  a bearing on the amount of custody he will serve beyond that time

She warned him if he did not engage he would be "effectively sealing his own fate."

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