Man who had sex with teenager he groomed online is jailed for three years

Conor O'Keefe pretended to be a 13-year-old girl called 'Julie' online

Assault, elderly, court, man, charged, Malahide Road, Dublin

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A 26-year-old man who had sex with a teenage girl after grooming her online through a fake social media account has been jailed for three years.

Conor O'Keefe - of Oakdale Close, Ballycullen in Dublin - pretended to be a 13-year-old girl called 'Julie'.

Judge Sarah Berkeley described what O'Keefe did as "somewhat sinister" and said it highlights the potential dangers of social media.

His victim was just 15 during the summer of 2011 when he befriended her on Tagged.com, by pretending to be a teenage girl called 'Julie'.

She later agreed to speak to her 22-year-old brother Adam, who convinced her to get a taxi to his place where they had sex in the early hours of July 30th 2011.

Following his arrest O'Keefe admitted setting up the fake account and having sex with the girl, but denied grooming her online - a charge he was convicted of in October.

Judge Berkeley agreed he should be given credit for his cooperation with gardaí, an otherwise clean criminal record and the fact he did not require his victim to give evidence during his trial.

But she said she had to consider the profound effect on his victim and handed down a five year sentence with the final two years suspended.