July 2015

Man sexually exploited a teenage girl

A 27-year-old man has avoided a prison sentence for the sexual exploitation of a schoolgirl.

Theodore McGivern of Grove Meadow, Ballinahinch Lower, Newtownmountkennedy, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court last Thursday to meeting a child for the purpose of sexual exploitation at a location in Dublin on June 13, 2013.

McGivern, who has no previous convictions, also admitted to sending an indecent message by telephone some time between June 8 and June 13, 2013.

The court heard that the defendant sent a photograph of his erect penis to a 15-year-old girl just days after meeting her in Dublin City Centre.

He was aware that at the time she was sitting her Junior Certificate and had telephoned her after some of her exams to see how they had gone.

The victim told gardaí that she later invited McGivern into her home where they went to her bedroom and he touched various areas of her body.

He stopped when the victim told him to do so.

Garnet Orange SC, defending, said that forensic psychological services had assessed McGivern as an ‘anxious, immature and psychologically vulnerable man’ who has ‘difficulty understanding the nuances of social communication.’

The assessment also stated McGivern is subject to suicidal ideation.

Another assessment found he has ‘elevated levels of impulsivity and finds it difficult to resist temptation.’

The assessment further stated that the defendant has a ‘significant number of traits associated with autistic spectrum disorder.’

He was also deemed psychologically vulnerable and has an active fantasy life.

The victim met McGivern while she was standing outside a shop on Dame Street, along with a friend of hers.

McGivern said she had a nice ass and then went into a shop and bought some alcohol for the under-age pair.

He told the girls he was 25 and the victim replied that she was 15 and her friend was 16.

At one point he made a sexual remark to the younger girl.

The following day he met up with the 15-year-old and kissed her.

He went on to ‘friend’ her on Facebook and rang her a few days later after one of her exams.

He also sent her a picture of his face.

They met again a few days later outside her college and kissed again.

Later the same day, he rang her again and said he wanted to kiss her all over her body.

He told her he was aroused and would like to have sexual relations with her.

She became embarrassed and held the phone away from her. Shortly after the call had ended, McGivern sent a picture of his penis to her mobile phone.

Two days later she asked him to come to her house and they kissed and he suggested they go to her bedroom where he touched her breast and bottom.

Judge Martin Nolan said the medical reports give grounds to believe that McGivern may be autistic.

He said that the accused’s behaviour was ‘deeply inappropriate.’

However, he was satisfied that McGivern was not a danger to society.

The judge said McGivern’s actions led to his detection and that this gave him some comfort that he was not a devious person.

He imposed a two-and-a-half year sentence which he suspended for two years.

He also ordered that McGivern have no contact with the girl and that he undergo two years probation supervision.

Garda Sharon O’Donogue agreed that McGivern was a bit of a loner and showed a lack of maturity.

Mr. Orange, defending, said this was a disturbing and upsetting case, but not one in which McGivern had hidden behind a false identity in order to groom a child victim.

He said his client had been open about his own age and his identity and was readily traceable.

McGivern initially told gardaí he thought she was 17 but later admitted that this was unrealistic if she was sitting her Junior Cert.

Mr. Orange said it wouldn’t be unknown for younger people to describe themselves as older.

He submitted that perhaps the girls had exuded a maturity beyond their years while his client had shown an immaturity for his age.

He added that the meeting of the girls was in the context of larger groups of young people of various ages meeting up around the Central Bank and St Stephen’s Green in Dublin city and skateboarding and hanging around.