'I shook her hand' - patient (62) denies sex attack on teen
A man charged with sexually assaulting a teenage girl on a hospital ward they were sharing told gardai he had only "shook her hand", a court heard yesterday.
The 17-year-old girl has said she was a patient at Cork University Hospital (CUH) on May 14 last year when she was awoken at around 5am by the sensation of her private parts being touched.
Gardai were told the girl had been asleep but claimed she was awoken when she felt her breasts and vagina being touched.
The 62-year-old defendant, when he was cautioned by officers about the alleged incident, replied: "I did nothing to that girl - I just shook her hand."
It was stated at Cork District Court that the man was sharing the hospital ward with the teenager at the time of the alleged offence.
Judge Olann Kelleher was told that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had previously consented to the matter being dealt with at Cork District Court on the basis of a guilty plea.
However, defence solicitor Eddie Burke informed the court that he was requesting the book of evidence.
Gardai said that, on this basis, further directions from the DPP would be required and asked the judge to adjourn.
The matter was adjourned to July 29 for mention and will then be further adjourned to September 16.
The DPP had previously indicated that, in the absence of a guilty plea, the matter must be dealt with by judge and jury before Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
Evidence of arrest, caution and charge was previously given by Det Gda Caroline Keogh.
Judge Kelleher heard a brief outline of the matter to determine whether he would accept jurisdiction.
Det Gda Keogh told the court the defendant vehemently denied the incident complained about, and continued to insist he had merely shaken the alleged victim's hand.
However, the teenager said she had been sexually assaulted.
The defendant was remanded on continuing bail to appear again before Cork District Court on July 29.
He must sign on once a week at a garda station in Co Cork.