An assistant teacher at a Donegal school has been jailed for having sex with a 14-year-old girl.
The man, who is in his 20s and cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared at Letterkenny Circuit Court this morning, Wednesday.
He had pleaded guilty to two charges of defilement of a child under seventeen years of age on dates in February and April, 2012.
The court heard the girl, described as “vulnerable,” first contacted the man via Facebook about a charity event he was taking part in.
The man was working as an assistant teacher at the girl’s school.
They began messaging on the social networking site, at first having “normal conversations about life matters.”
Their conversation on the site became increasingly flirtatious and the man later sent the girl a picture of his erect penis.
He suggested he wanted to see her and she snuck out of her house, meeting him at an unoccupied home.
The court heard the man was very drunk on this occasion, but the girl, who was a virgin, was not.
They engaged in sexual intercourse .
The following day, the man text the girl and told her what had happened had been a mistake.
The following April, the teenager texted the man to apologise for contacting him the day before. She told Gardai she had been drinking.
The man replied, telling her he had been drinking and was turned on by her message.
He told her he did not have a condom and asked her to bring one.
They met again and the court told Gardai the man was very drunk and was a “bit rough and aggressive.” They engaged in oral sex and had intercourse.
The next day, the girl told a family member, who contacted Gardai.
The investigating Garda told the court the man had been co-operative under interview and made full admissions.
He confirmed he had sent her the picture, met her and had sex with her. He also said he knew she was at secondary school and that what he was doing was an offence.
He told Gardai he had been finding life difficult at the time, was depressed and had been drinking a lot.
The court heard he had tried to take his own life on two occasions.
The man told Gardai he regretted what he’d done and apologised to the girl.
Defence barrister Martin Giblin said his client’s family were “hardworking” and supportive.
He said the incidents had a “very serious” impact upon them and they had “suffered terribly” in their local area.
Mr Giblin said his client was remorseful and has “chronic drink problems.”
He said his client would have to move away from his home area as “any form of social activity will be denied to him.”
Judge Matthew F. Deery read the girl’s victim impact statement and said while the man had no previous convictions, he had “taken advantage of the situation.”
He sentenced him to three years imprisonment, on both charges, to run concurrently.
He suspended the last six months of the sentence and ordered him to comply with all directions of the Probation Service in relation to alcohol consumption. He ordered him to have no contact with the victim and placed him on the Sex Offenders Register for a period of 10 years.