Detention order for boy who ‘took advantage’ of intoxicated underage girl (15)

Teenager, who was 15 at time of the offence, pleaded guilty to defilement of a child

The judge said said the victim had considered the accused as being ‘a trusted friend’ and that there was ‘a huge breach of trust in this crime’. Photograph: Dave Meehan

The judge said said the victim had considered the accused as being ‘a trusted friend’ and that there was ‘a huge breach of trust in this crime’. Photograph: Dave Meehan

 

A Dublin teenager who “took advantage” of an intoxicated underage girl he had sex with has received a detention order of 18 months.

The teenager (17), who cannot be named for legal reasons, was aged 15 when he committed the offence and is 10 days younger than the victim.

He pleaded guilty before the Central Criminal Court to the offence of defilement of a child under the age of 17 at a location in Dublin on August 9th, 2018. He has no previous convictions.

Mr Justice Michael White said the accused “took advantage” of the victim’s “confused and intoxicated state” and had sexual intercourse with her.

He said the victim had considered the accused as being “a trusted friend” and that there was “a huge breach of trust in this crime”.

A local garda told Paul Greene SC, prosecuting, that he became involved in the case on August 10th, 2018, when gardaí received a call from the accused complaining that the victim’s boyfriend was banging on his door “in an aggressive way”.

The victim and her boyfriend approached gardaí when they arrived at the scene and made an allegation of unwarranted sexual activity by the accused on the previous night.

The accused, the victim and her boyfriend were drinking with three others in a green area on the previous night. The victim and the accused ended up separated from the others and sat on a bench together.

The victim was intoxicated and was in “a confused state”. She became aware that the accused had his trousers down and she froze as he proceeded to have sexual intercourse with her.

After the incident ended, the victim had the accused call her boyfriend and then walked at speed to where she thought she would find him. Once she found her boyfriend, she told the accused to “f**k off” and he left.

When interviewed by gardaí following his arrest, the accused admitted to having sexual intercourse with the victim. He said the incident lasted two minutes and that he was intoxicated at the time.

In her victim impact statement, which was read in court by the garda, the victim said that she suffered “pain and discomfort” when using the toilet following the incident and that she also had to receive injections to inoculate against Hepatitis B.

The victim said she felt scared to leave her house and to go to school. She said she missed 160 days of school over the following year when she had not missed any days the previous year.

She said she stopped eating and lost a stone in weight. She said she finds it very hard to trust people as the accused was a trusted friend and she thought of him as a brother.

The victim said she has no emotion towards him and she is “not going to let him take any more of my life going forward”.

Mr Justice White said the mitigating factors in the case were the accused being a child at the time, his guilty plea and co-operation with the investigation, his previous good character, his genuine remorse and his low risk of re-offending.

He said the court gave serious consideration to the section of the Children Act 2001 which would allow him to hand down a deferred sentence and then suspend it. He said that due to the seriousness of the offence, he considered that going down that road would be “unduly lenient”.

Mr Justice White said the appropriate period of detention was one of 18 months. He said the court did not consider that the accused is at any risk of re-offending and he therefore did not require post-release supervision.

The garda agreed with Michael Bowman SC, defending, that his client took up a job once he finished school. He agreed that there was no suggestion that the accused isolated the victim from the group.

Mr Bowman said it was undoubtedly a factor that alcohol was in play in terms of the behaviour of all the young people on the night. He said his client had indicated that it was the first time he had experimented with alcohol “to this extent”.

Counsel said there was no suggestion that the accused had plied the victim with alcohol with the purpose of taking advantage of her. He said his client wished to reiterate his “sincere regret” for the distress and harm he caused the victim.

Mr Bowman said his client had “a poor understanding of sexual relations” at the time of the incident. He submitted that his client behaved in a manner “which will cost him his reputation”.