December 2010

Man who lured boy (15) for sex act avoids prison

A 46-year-old man who met a 15-year-old boy through the Bebo networking website, before performing a lewd sex act on him in a car, walked free from court yesterday with a suspended jail term.

Ian Mills (48), of Kildimo, Co Limerick, pleaded guilty at Limerick Circuit Court to a charge of “inviting a child to engage in a sexual and indecent or obscene act”.

Judge Carol Moran said Mills’s name could be published and placed the Bebo predator on the sex offenders’ register for five years.

Mills had created a fictitious identity on the Bebo site after coming across the web page of his 15-year-old victim online. The boy had advertised that he was 15 and looking to speak to other like-minded males, specifically under the age of 18.

When Mills saw the boy’s request, he created a Bebo page under a fictitious name with the initials of ‘DOB’ and told his victim that he was aged 16.

Eventually Mills, who was by this stage using his own name and age, exchanged mobile phone numbers with the boy, and both agreed to meet up after Mills said he had pictures of DOB, which he would show the 15-year old.

On September 20, 2008, Mills met his victim in an isolated spot in Co Limerick.

Mills then began to stroke the boy’s leg, before he unbuckled the boy’s trousers and performed oral sex on the boy.

Suddenly the boy’s father, who had been out looking for his son, came upon the scene and ended his son’s ordeal at the hands of Mills.

The 46-year-old admitted everything to gardai and handed over his computer and mobile phone to detectives.

“I regret everything I’ve done. My life is ruined. It was a stupid impulse fantasy reaction. It had played on my mind and I just went with it,” Mills told gardai.

A victim impact statement read to the court told how the boy had attended a psychotherapist and had become “very cautious”, and that he “found it hard to trust people”.

Judge Carol Moran said Mills had preyed on a young man. “This was a very explicit sex act. There’s no understating the gravity of this,” she said.

However, Judge Moran said mitigating factors saved Mills from a custodial sentence including: Mills’s early guilty plea; a HSE report describing Mills as being a minimal risk of re-offending; no previous history of sexual offences; and no previous convictions.

She also said having his name published in the media and being put on the sex offenders register, would “affect him, possibly for the rest of his life”.

Judge Moran imposed a three-year suspended jail term and ordered Mills be of good behaviour for three years. He was also ordered to pay a bond to the court of €200.