Judge criticises ‘morally reprehensible’ man for having sex with girl (14)
David Hoban (28) sentenced to three years over affair with teen he met on the internet
A Dublin man (28) has been jailed for having sex three times with a 14-year-old girl after meeting her on the interent. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times.
A Dublin man who had sex three times with a 14-year-old girl after meeting her on the interent has been criticised by a judge for behaving in a “morally reprehensible” manner and sentenced to three years in prison.
David Hoban (28), a father, was arrested after the girl was found in a Dublin suburb and complained that she had been raped by him. The girl’s mother had reported her missing after she had not returned home from school.
Det Garda Paul O’Hara told Garrett McCormack BL, prosecuting, that the teenager said she met Hoban three times and they had sex and oral sex on each occasion. He was aged 26 at the time.
The court heard they had met through a social media and the victim’s profile indicated that she was 20 years old. Det Garda O’Hara said it would have been obvious to Hoban that the girl was underage when he met her in person.
Hoban, of Leinster Road, Rathmines, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to two sample charges of defilement of a child by having intercourse and oral sex with her on dates in June 2015 . He has 10 previous convictions.
Judge Martin Nolan sentenced him to three years in prison and said Hoban should have stopped contact with the teenager when he became aware of her youth at their first meeting.
“He should have known what he was doing was morally reprehensible and against the law,” Judge Nolan said.
He accepted his plea of guilty and true remorse and said that “his young life was troubled by great tragedy”.
“But everyone is master of their own ship and this man didn’t make the right decision,” Judge Nolan said.
He said the age difference was substantial. “We are talking about a grown man who should have been mature enough to stop himself and he didn’t,” Judge Nolan said.
A series of WhatsApp messages sent between Hoban and the girl, read out in court, showed that he was aware she was underage but Det Garda O’Hara said Hoban did not become aware of her actual age until the day of his arrest.
The garda agreed with Mr McCormack that the majority of the messages were instigated by the victim.
One message from Hoban read: “I’m sorry, you’re a lovely girl. I wish you were older and you could do what you want.”
Another said: “I like you a lot but things will never work out,” to which the complainant replied “Why because I am too young?” to which Hoban answered “Yup.”
There were conversations surrounding sexual acts and in one message the teenager said to Hoban “I wish you were my age,” before she told him she loved him.
Mary Rose Geary SC, defending, said her client’s sister died in a road accident when she was a young child and a friend died when the friend was about 12 years old. She said Hoban suffered other similar tragedies over the years which led to him drinking heavily and living a chaotic lifestyle.