herald

Sunday 22 October 2017

Former Leinster star appeals over grope conviction

David Poff
David Poff

A former Leinster rugby player found guilty of sexually assaulting a performer at a music festival continues to maintain his innocence and has appealed against the conviction.

David Poff (21) drunkenly groped the woman's bottom from behind as she walked through a crowd and told her "give me your t**s".

Poff, who has played for Leinster Under-19s and Under-20s as well as Old Wesley RFC, had denied sexually assaulting the woman at Longitude in Marlay Park, Rathfarnham, on July 16, 2016.

However, the victim, in her 20s, had identified him in court and said there was "no doubt in her mind" that Poff was the culprit.

She said she felt "violated".

Poff, of Mayfield, Lower Kilmacud Road, Stillorgan, was also found guilty of public drunkenness. He had denied the charges.

Judge Patricia McNamara fined him €200 and imposed a two-month sentence, which she suspended for one year.

During the trial, the victim told Tallaght District Court that someone grabbed her from behind.

Pushed

"He had a really good hold of me. He leaned over me and said, 'Give me your t**s'," she said.

"I pushed him away and said, 'What are you at? Get your f**king hands off me'." The woman threw her drink on him and walked away. He shouted "shut the f**k up, you fat b***h, you f**king slut".

She saw a steward and told him what happened, then reported it to a garda, pointing out Poff.

"A very unpleasant incident may have occurred but it was not my client who was involved," said defence solicitor Tom Honan.

"It definitely was," the victim replied.

"I found him to be highly intoxicated," Sgt Trevor Scanlon said of Poff.

"He was falling into the railings, he barely knew where he was and what he was doing there."

Mr Honan said his client continued to maintain his innocence.

He said Poff, who has no previous convictions, lost his job after he was charged.

The defendant immediately appealed against the conviction.

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