herald

Sunday 27 May 2018

Man (33) imprisoned for forcing teen boy he met online into sex act

Ciaran Doherty went to a 13-year-old boy’s house for sex
Ciaran Doherty went to a 13-year-old boy’s house for sex

A 33-yearj-old man has been sentenced to four years in prison after he forced a 13-year-old boy into a sex act after the pair met online.

Ciaran Doherty, from Glengad, Malin, Co Donegal, preyed on the teenager after the victim downloaded a gay dating app on his mother's phone.

Doherty travelled to meet the boy at his home while his mother had gone out for two hours.

He was caught after the boy's mother arrived home early to find her son being forced to perform oral sex on him.

Judge John Aylmer told Letterkenny Circuit Court that he considered such an offence to carry a sentence of six years in prison.

Defilement

However, because of mitigating factors, he reduced the sentence to four years, with the final 12 months of that sentence to be suspended.

Doherty was also ordered to sign the sex offenders' register after pleading guilty to the defilement of a child under 15 years on April 13, 2015.

He showed little emotion when the sentence was passed but his mother and sister broke down in tears.

The victim, who is now aged 16, sat at the back of the court with his mother.

The court had heard how the boy had downloaded an app for the gay dating website Gaydar and created a profile.

The court heard how the boy's mother had left him in her home with his siblings while she went out for a couple of hours with her partner.

She gave the boy her mobile phone in case of emergencies.

Garda Malcolm Hooks told the court how the boy downloaded Gaydar and created a fake profile on it, claiming that he was 19 years old.

But on another part of the profile, the boy wrote: "I'm not a porn star, I'm a 13-year-old."

Within a short time, a meeting between the man and the boy had been arranged at the boy's home in Inishowen.

Doherty showered and then drove to the boy's home.

In a later interview with gardai he admitted that when the boy answered the door to him he thought he was aged "16 or 17".

Gda Hooks said that when the boy was interviewed by specialist interviewers, he claimed that the man forced him to give him oral sex.

During the sexual encounter, the boy's mother returned unexpectedly and saw the incident.

Ashamed

The accused man's sister gave evidence that up until the incident her family never knew he was not heterosexual.

She added that he was deeply ashamed of what had happened and was willing to accept any punishment that came his way as a result.

Barrister for the accused Mr Colm Smyth SC said his client came from a very respectable family who were all shocked by what had happened.

He said a report from a psychologist found the man to be immature and introverted, and that he had difficulty recognising his bisexuality.

But the psychologist added that he found no evidence of any interest in paedophilia.

He told the psychologist: "I'm not that kind of person and I'm disgusted with myself. If I can fix this in any way I will."

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