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18 month sentence for teaching assistant who had relationship with 14 year old

Letterkenny Courthouse.

Letterkenny Courthouse.

A DONEGAL man has been sentenced to 18 months imprisonment for defilement of a child under 17 years of age.

At Wednesday morning’s sitting of Letterkenny Circuit Court, Justice Matthew Derry heard details of how the man, who was 23 at the time and working as a teaching assistant, had sexual intercourse on two occasions with a girl who was 14.

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The court heard the incidents occurred in February and April 2012 in an unoccupied house owned by the injured party’s grandmother. The man cannot be named to protect the identity of the injured party.

Gardaí were first alerted to the accusation after the injured party had liaised with social services regarding problems in her home and an investigation subsequently was opened.

Counsel for the prosecution, Ms Patricia McLaughlin told the court initial contact was made by the injured party through Facebook.

Conversations were initially harmless and later turned into flirtation culminating in the accused sending a photograph of his erect penis to the injured party.
The accused and the injured party first met on April 8, 2012 while the 14-year-old girl was still living at home with her parents.

The court heard the accused contacted the injured party and told her that he wanted to meet her. Ms McLaughlin said the girl snuck out of her family home and met the accused in her grandmother’s house, which was unoccupied, where they had sexual intercourse.

In her statement the injured party said she was intoxicated on the night in question, while the accused was sober. She said she was a virgin at the time. A medical examination later confirmed that the injured party was a virgin before the two incidents.

The court heard that the accused text the girl the next day and told her that ‘last night was a mistake’ and that it ‘should never have happened’.

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Ms McLaughlin said the injured party text the accused on Easter Sunday, April 8, 2012, apologising to him that she had text him the next before.

The accused told the girl that he played a rugby match that day and was very drunk. He also said that he was ‘very turned on by her message’ and wanted to meet her. He said he did not have a condom and asked her to bring one with her.

That night they both met at the injured party’s grandmother’s house again and had intercourse. In her statement the injured party said that the accused was very intoxicated on this occasion and ‘a bit rough’. She said that she was also intoxicated on the night.

The court heard that the accused made full admissions to having sexual intercourse with the injured party on two occasions upon his arrest.

Mr Justice Deery sentenced the accused to two years for each charge, to run concurrently, but suspended the last six months of each sentence, culminating in an 18-month sentence.

See Friday’s Donegal News for full report.

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