Ex-garda jailed for a year over sex acts with minor in care

Damien Jermyn pleaded guilty earlier this year to two counts of defilement of boy in Cork

The case of Damien Jermyn was investigated by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission. Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

The case of Damien Jermyn was investigated by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission. Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Fri, Nov 8, 2013, 19:33

A former garda who engaged in sex acts with a 16-year-old boy in HSE care was yesterday sentenced to two years in jail with the final year suspended.

Damien Jermyn (30) had pleaded guilty earlier this year to two counts of defilement of the boy at a location in Co Cork on two separate dates.

Jermyn, who was based in Killarney in Co Kerry, pleaded guilty to defilement of a minor at a location in Co Cork on January 19th, 2011.

Jermyn, whose resignation from the Garda was accepted on Thursday, also pleaded guilty to a second count of defilement of the boy at the same place between February 1st and 5th, 2011.

The case was investigated by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission, and yesterday at Cork Circuit Criminal Court, investigator Nick Harden outlined the background to the case.

Jermyn had logged onto a gay website under the name “Kerry Dude 26”, where he met the injured party, who called himself Sexy Cork Boy and who pretended to be over 18. He made text contact with the boy and they arranged to meet at a location in Co Cork, where Jermyn got the boy to perform oral sex on him in his parked car beside a graveyard.

Judge Sean Ó Donnabháin noted Jermyn had pleaded guilty, had no previous convictions and had not come to any adverse Garda attention since the events, which were all to his credit.

However, he could not lose sight of the fact that Jermyn, with an address at Main Street, Bantry, Co Cork, was guilty of a terrible breach of trust.

“You were an adult male who knowingly had a sexual relationship with a child, that is a very significant breach of trust,” commented Judge Ó Donnabháin.

“But on top of that impelling me to impose a custodial sentence is that you knew this boy was in care - you were in a position of responsibility and you knew he was in care.”

He sentenced Jermyn to two years in jail but suspended the final year for a period of two years. Jermyn will also be placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for five years.