A Donegal man who pleaded guilty to three charges of defilement of a child under the age of 17 has been ordered to do 240 hours of community service.

Letterkenny Circuit Court heard that the man was involved in a sexual relationship with the 16-year-old girl when he was 27.

The court was told that he first saw her at her workplace and got her number from a friend.

He started texting the complainant and they met up at a car rally.

Evidence was given that the man had a girlfriend at the time, but the 16-year-old girl did not know this.

They had sexual intercourse on various occasions, mostly in his vehicle but also in his mother's car.

The court heard that he knew the girl was 16 from the start and had "a fair idea" it was illegal.

The man had several previous convictions for road traffic offences, the court was told.

His barrister said he had fully admitted the sexual offences and had expressed contrition.

The court also heard that the girl had suffered symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and had feelings of low self-esteem, but that both parties had now moved on with their lives.

The man's name has been put on the sex offenders' register for ten years and Judge Matthew Deery directed that he carry out 240 hours of community service in lieu of a prison sentence.