Assistant teacher jailed for having sex with pupil (14)

Donegal man begin relationship with girl on Facebook


An assistant teacher at a Donegal secondary school had sex with a 14-year-old pupil after striking up a relationship with her on a Facebook page, a court has heard.

The teacher, who was in his 20s, was taking part in a Strictly Come Dancing event at the school. He received a message from the young girl and they began an online friendship.

However some time later the teacher, who cannot be named for legal reasons, sent the girl a picture of his penis.

They then arranged to meet on two occasions between February and April of 2012 and had sex.

The man, who pleaded guilty to the defilement of a child on two occasions, sat at the back of Letterkenny Circuit Court wringing his hands and weeping throughout the case.

He had no previous convictions.

Defence counsel Martin Giblin said his client has been ostracised from his community and has had to move out of his local area. Before this he had been a fine sportsman who enjoyed rugby and boxing, he said.

Mr Giblin also said his client had apologised to the woman.

Judge Matthew Deery said the man has been co-operative and apologetic.

“The position is she was vulnerable and the offences are obviously serious,” he said.

He added that it was clear that he took advantage of her.

He sentenced the man to two years for each charge to run concurrently but suspended the last six months of each sentence, meaning the man will serve 18 months in prison.