herald

Monday 18 June 2018

Ex-stripper jailed over horror Tinder sex assault once did a streak at Croker

Former stripper Paul Flaherty was jailed for five years
Former stripper Paul Flaherty was jailed for five years

A former stripper and dating show contestant who once streaked in Croke Park has been jailed for five years for a sex attack on a woman he met on dating app Tinder.

Dubliner Paul Flaherty (30) first made the headlines in 2007 when he did a charity fundraising streak at a match in Croke Park.

However, Flaherty, who previously appeared on TV3's Take Me Out, was before the courts last week for a sentencing hearing after he was found guilty of sexual assaulting a woman at his home in Tallaght on August 31, 2015.

Disgusting

The attack was described in court as "disgusting" and "abhorrent", while she said the attack "inflicted scars upon my mind that will never heal".

The terrifying incident happened when Flaherty met the woman for a date after they made contact through Tinder.

After drinking together that day, the woman got a taxi with Flaherty to his parents' house in Tallaght.

They went to his bedroom, got into bed and there was some consensual kissing before he sexually assaulted her, the court heard.

When Flaherty left the bedroom to go to the toilet, the "distressed" woman ran from his house and got help from a stranger, who took her to Tallaght Garda Station.

Flaherty maintained in his garda interviews that what had happened on the night was consensual.

The judge noted that the woman had made it clear to Flaherty that she was not interested in sexual contact, but he ignored that request.

In 2007, Flaherty brought a Dublin-Tyrone football match to a halt when he ran naked on to the field after 20 minutes of the game and did a somersault and cartwheel before he was arrested.

Afterwards he gave a false name and address, but later called gardai to give his real name. His mother went on RTE radio the following day to give him a stern telling-off for his antics.

Flaherty claimed he had carried out the stunt to raise money and awareness for cystic fibrosis.

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