Man's sexual interest 'age appropriate'
on 13/10/2012 00:00:00
He continued the contact and later swapped phone numbers. He met the girl over a year later, brought her back to his family home, and had sex with her. The Dublin man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to two charges of defilement of a child at his home on Apr 29, 2011. He has a previous district court conviction for possession of a knife.
Judge Mary Ellen Ring had adjourned the case after hearing evidence because she was concerned that the man had both "groomed and targeted" his victim.
She noted that a report prepared for the sentence hearing indicated the man was at "a moderate, low risk of re-offending" but said she wanted the report updated to specifically address "the targeting element" of the case.
Yesterday, Dr Patrick Randall, who had prepared the report, told Judge Ring he was satisfied the man did not have paedophilic tendencies but rather "gravitates towards younger people because he is more comfortable with them".
He agreed with the judge that the man's emotional maturity had "stalled". Dr Randall told Paul Greene SC, defending, that it was well known that Bebo was mainly used by younger teenagers and he believed it was "no accident" that the man had specifically used this social networking site.
"I don't believe, however, that he exclusively or specifically targeted this age group over any other age group," said Dr Randall.
When asked by Róisín Lacey BL, prosecuting, to clarify this, Dr Randall said: "He has not a well-practiced way of being with girls his own age. He therefore gravitates towards younger people."
He said he concluded that the man's "sexual interests" were age-appropriate and he did not have paedophilic tendencies. "He looked to access young people who he has an emotional affinity with but he does not have an interest in pre-pubescent children."
Judge Ring said she was "very troubled" the man had targeted a site that young people frequented. She remanded the man in custody and adjourned the case to December.
The man had used a false name and photo on the site, but befriended the girl on another site. Texts, some of a "sexual nature", were exchanged before he arranged to meet the girl at his local supermarket.
He brought her to the home he shared with his parents and had sex and anal sex with the girl upstairs. They then had sex a second time before going the sitting room. He then brought her to the supermarket where he bought her a number of bottles of vodka.
An offer of €5,000 compensation was accepted by the teenager.