A 19-year-old who sexually abused a five-year-old girl wept as the nature of his offending was described in court.
The defendant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, sexually abused the girl on May 25, last year.
Derry Crown Court heard the defendant was fostered by the girl’s grandparents for a number of years.
The girl was in her grandparents home on the date of the incident and when she was collected by her father he found her to be ‘a bit agitated’.
The five-year-old had been playing a computer game with the defendant when her father arrived.
She later told her father that the defendant had touched her.
The court heard the girl was ‘upset and whimpering’ as she disclosed this.
She said the defendant told her she could only have a go on his computer if she let him touch her and told her to ‘show him her bum’.
Afterwards the defendant told the girl not to tell anyone what had happened ‘it’s our secret’.
During police interview, the defendant gave a prepared statement denying the offences. However, he later made a confession to a social worker and expressed remorse for his behaviour.
A defence barrister told the court his client is a ‘vulnerable’ young man who has a developmental disorder. He said the teenager had shown true remorse for his behaviour, which he knew was wrong.
Judge Philip Babington adjourned sentencing to consider the ‘complex matters’ in the case. He said the “most important matter is that the injured party is safe and well and in my sentencing I intend to make sure she can go about her life without looking over her shoulder.”
The judge told the defendant ‘at this stage I don’t think I will be sending you away. I will give my reasons for that in public at a later stage.’
He went on to praise the girl’s parents, who were present in court for the hearing.
Judge Babington said they had ‘acted very appropriately in bringing these matters to the attention of police’ and added he was glad to hear their daughter was ‘doing well.’
The defendant was released on continuing bail until September 6th.