Cocaine addict to be sentenced for underage sex

A Galway cocaine addict who had sex with a 14-year-old schoolgirl in a Dublin hotel room will be sentenced later at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

The 32-year-old father of two asked her to miss school so that she could accompany him to a Dublin hotel where he told staff she was his sister but the receptionist became suspicious when she saw the girl's school uniform.

He pleaded guilty to sexual assault of the girl on November 22 2004 in the Celtic Lodge Hostel on Talbot Street where he had arrived at 9.30am and asked for a double room for him and his "sister".

Detective Garda Mark Jordan told prosecuting counsel, Ms Karen O'Connor BL, that the man gave a false address and returned 15 minutes later with the "young and baby-faced" girl who was wearing a school uniform.

Det Gda Jordan said that when a cleaning lady entered the bedroom later, she saw the man lying on the bed with no top on as the girl sat and brushed her hair. She alerted the receptionist who asked him to explain while the girl refused to provide identification or to reveal the crest on her school uniform.

The two left and the receptionist called gardaí after finding blood on the bed sheets. Gardaí arrived and found a maths book in the room with the girls name and class number written on it. They contacted the Department of Education and were able to figure out what school she attended.

Det Gda Jordan said the girl told gardaí she had known the man for seven months and had been phoning and texting him. She said she sent him one message saying: “Love you loads.”

The girl said he told her he was 24 and she gave him her correct age. He repeatedly asked her to skip school to meet him that day and she eventually agreed because it was a half-day.

She said he told her his landlord owned the hotel and he was living there while his shower was fixed. She said she had been a virgin and that he was aware of this.

Det Gda Jordan said the man was arrested for unlawful carnal knowledge and interviewed but nothing of value arose. Gardaí matched him to the scene using semen traces found in the bed sheets.

He had previously received a 12-month suspended sentence for larceny in 2002 which was activated when he failed to pay compensation.

Defence counsel, Mr Giollaiosa O Lideadha SC, said his client came from a very difficult family background and suffered from low self-esteem. He said he was a heavy alcohol and cocaine user who "took advantage of the fact that this young girl developed an interest in him”.

Judge Patrica Ryan adjourned sentencing until October for preparation of a probation report. She remanded him on bail and directed that his name be added to the sexual offender's register.

Judge Ryan also ordered that he not be named in the media until it can be established whether this would also lead to the teenage girl being identified publicly.


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