herald

Monday 16 October 2017

Ex-Leinster player guilty of drunkenly groping performer

David Poff
David Poff

A former Leinster youth rugby player has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a music festival performer by grabbing her bottom while whispering a lewd remark into her ear.

David Poff (20, below) drunkenly groped the woman's buttocks as she walked through a crowd and told her, "give me your t**s".

The victim, in her 20s, broke down in tears as she gave evidence and told a court she had felt "violated".

Culprit

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

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

Judge Patricia ­McNamara ­adjourned sentencing at ­Tallaght District Court for a probation report.

Poff, a student from Mayfield, Lower Kilmacud Road, Stillorgan, was also found guilty of public drunkenness and not guilty of breaching the peace. He had denied all charges.

"Someone grabbed me from behind, grabbed my arse," the victim said. "He had a really good hold of me. He leaned over me and said 'give me your t**s'. I pushed him away and said, 'what are you at? Get your f**king hands off me'."

She threw her drink on him and walked away. He allegedly shouted, "shut the f**k up, you fat bitch, you f**king slut".

She 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," she replied.

"I found him to be highly intoxicated," Sergeant Trevor Scanlon said of the accused. He arrested the defendant for his own safety and handcuffed him. In the van, Poff urinated on himself. Sgt Scanlon denied that Poff had asked to go to the toilet.

Mr Honan asked the judge to dismiss the charges, pointing to the "dangers" of convicting the accused without corroborative evidence. Poff had no previous convictions.

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