Suspended sentence for man guilty of sex with a 13 year-old

A second man  walked free from a court, although with a suspended sentence, after he admitted full sex with a 13-year-old schoolgirl.

Chef Ronan Lowther, 25, who is now working as a plasterer’s labourer, received an 18 months prison sentence suspended for five years and he was also placed on the sex offender’s register for five years.

He walked out of Donegal Circuit Court the day after newly-wed Colin Reynolds, 27, was also freed with an 18-months suspended sentence and five years on the sex offenders register for one sex assault on the girl when she was 12.

Lowther, of Mountcharles, Co. Donegal, pleaded guilty to a sex assault on October 12th, 2003, in his car when the girl was 13 years and nine months and he was 18.

Judge Raymond Fullam noted that the background to the case had been well-noted in other cases involving the girl that had come before the courts.

The judge said the girl had been abandoned to her own devices, leading a life of promiscuity before going into care until the age of 18. In her victim impact statement she described parental neglect when men preyed on her.

Lowther had expressed remorse for the suffering he caused to the girl.

Five men have already been convicted for sex assaults on the girl, who is now 20 and was said in court to have made considerable progress with her life and was preparing to re-enter education.

The courts have heard that the girl had full sex 57 times with 22 adult men when she was 13.

A former private in the Irish army is one year into a sentence of two years and three months when he was convicted by a jury of several sex assaults on her, another man is serving nine months, and this week Lowther and 27-year-old Colin Reynolds were given suspended sentences when they admitted single offences.

Another man found guilty by a jury last month is in custody awaiting a probation report and sentence later this month.

A sixth man who has denied offences is on bail awaiting trial in December.