Reprisals fear after sex attack on five-year-old
FREED: Pervert avoids jail for assault
The family of a five-year-old who was inappropriately touched by his neighbour have been warned there should be no reprisals outside of court.
The man received a nine-month sentence suspended for five years for the assault which occurred in his Dublin home.
Judge James McDonnell at Tallaght District Court also certified the man as a sex offender on the Sex Offenders Register.
The 50-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and with an address in south Dublin, had pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting the five-year-old girl at his home in Tallaght on June 1, 2010.
The case was before the court for a victim impact statement and a pre-sentence report.
The young victim's mother, who was visibly upset, was present in court, as were members of the defendant's family.
Defence lawyer Steven Dixon said the defendant, who is married and with a family of his own, had shown "shame and remorse at this horrible crime".
Mr Dixon said the defendant was a chronic alcoholic but was attending Alcoholics Anonymous and was trying to deal with his drink problem. He said the defendant had co-operated fully with the probation service.
The court heard the defendant had three previous convictions, including a conviction for common indecency dating from 1992.
Mr Dixon said the defendant is battling an addiction to alcohol and is attending AA meetings. He said: "He is ashamed and remorseful of this horrid crime and he wishes to deal with the issues that lead to it."
Judge McDonnell said the appropriate way to deal with the matter was by way of a suspended sentence.
He sentenced the man to nine months jail but suspended it for five years on condition that the defendant be under the supervision of the probation services for the next three years.
The defendant was also ordered to attend for treatment, urinalysis and counselling as directed and that he attend for therapy.
The judge also imposed a fine of €1,000.
Judge McDonnell also certified the man as a sex offender under the Sex Offenders Act, 2001 for the next five years.