Galwayman on sex charge asks to be jailed so he can get treatment

A Galway man has asked to be jailed so he can get treatment, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court has heard.

Thomas Kelly (34 ) of no fixed abode but originally from Galway, was jailed for one year for sexually assaulting a boy after grooming him by letting him drive his car.

Kelly's defence counsel Caroline Biggs SC told the court that he knows that if he doesn't get treatment he will find himself back before the courts on new charges. She requested that Kelly be jailed so he could avail of the treatment programme for sex offenders in Arbour Hill Prison.

The court heard Kelly befriended the boy when he was playing Quasar in the Leisureplex in Dublin. He soon began giving him lifts and letting him drive his car. He used this opportunity to sexually assault his victim who was aged 14 or 15.

Kelly pleaded guilty to sexual assault of the boy in a Dublin car park during the summer of 2004.

The investigating garda told prosecuting counsel Ronan Kennedy BL that the accused played Quasar competitively and met the boy while playing one weekend. He began to call the boy regularly. He used to bring him to a multi-storey car park and let the boy drive the car.

On one occasion he started examining the car park to see which floor had the fewest cameras. It was during a later visit when he reached over and molested the boy. The boy grabbed Kelly's fingers and bent them back, breaking two of them. He then got out of the car and walked home despite Kelly's efforts to convince him to get back in.

When the victim made a statement last year Kelly was arrested and made admissions in an interview.

Ms Biggs said that when Kelly lived in England he took out a bank loan to pay for a sex offenders’ treatment course but was refused entry. When he returned to Ireland he applied for treatment here but the waiting list was too long. He has also sought treatment with One in Four and a report from them was handed into court.

Ms Biggs said Kelly lives a sad life and “doesn't have a friend in the world”. She said since he went into custody in August he has been singled out because of the nature of his offences.

Judge Martin Nolan said the offence was at the lower end of the scale but noted Kelly still presented a threat to society because of his predilection for children.

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