A JUDGE HAS jailed an Ennis teenager who disputes warning a 14-year-old girl that he would pull her mother down a lane where she would be found dead if the girl did not have sex with him.
In the case at Ennis Circuit Court, Judge Gerald Keys imposed a 30-month jail term on the 19-year-old suspending the final 14 months.
The teen – who can’t be named for legal reasons – has been in custody since 15 December last and Judge Keys backdated the sentence to that date.
Judge Keys said that there was “an element of coercion” in the case.
Judge Keys also stated that the male teen has shown a lack of insight into his actions with the judge placing the offences on the mid-point of the spectrum.
In the case, the accused aged 16-17 at the time admitted having sex with the girl on three dates between 1 December 2014 and 31 July 2015 contrary to Section 2 of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2006.
The victim was 14 at the time and is aged 17 today.
In a garda interview, the accused denied that he had issued a threat of violence against the girl’s mother if the girl didn’t have sex with him.
In reply, the teen said:
Who am I? Larry Murphy? I didn’t threaten her. If that was the case, why didn’t she finish it ages ago?
Counsel for the teen, Padraig Dwyer SC previously told the court: “That name, Larry Murphy became a household name – he was a serious, violent rapist whose case made national headlines for a period of time.”
Judge Keys said that the teen had co-operated with gardaí but has accumulated 28 Governor’s reports for institutional misconduct while in detention.
In her victim impact statement delivered by counsel for the State Philip Rahn BL, the girl said that “since this has happened to me, I always find that I have to look over my shoulder – I don’t feel confident anymore”.
I find it hard to trust new people. This makes it hard to make new friends. It changed my family’s life and my life. We moved far away, isolating me.
It affected my sleep. I had bad dreams. I just felt sad all the time. I didn’t want to do anything or go anywhere. Staying in bed. I lost all motivation.
In her statement of complaint to gardaí, the girl said that after the teenage boy made the ‘lane’ threat about her mother, “I didn’t like him saying this and I felt like he would do something to my mother and I gave in”.
The two were in a relationship at the time and they had sex after the boy made his threat.
This was the second time that the two had sex and the first time they had sex followed a previous threat that the boy had made about the girl’s mother.
The girl said that the two met through Facebook.
‘I can’t threaten someone I don’t know’
In a garda interview, the accused told gardaí that “I can’t threaten someone I don’t know” when asked if he made threats to the girl about her mother.
Asked if he ever threatened violence against the mother, he said: “I said that she could do with a slap on the mouth but I never said that I would do it.”
The accused – who has a number of previous convictions – denied making the specific threats about the girl’s mother in the Garda interview.
On behalf of his client, Dwyer said that his client has pleaded guilty but in terms of his culpability was only 16 at the time when the relationship commenced.
“The teenager was under an apprehension that what he was doing wasn’t wrong,” Dwyer said.
“Obviously, now, my client wants to apologise and regrets engaging in unlawful conduct.”