| 8.8°C Dublin

Man cleared of sexual assault on neighbour while she was doing her laundry


A RESIDENT at a south Dublin apartment building has been found not guilty of sexually assaulting his next-door neighbour while she was doing her laundry.

The young woman had  alleged that the accused (41) approached her from behind and groped her as she washed clothes in a communal utility room.

However, Judge Patrick Clyne ruled that there was not enough evidence to convict the man and dismissed the case.

The defendant pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting his neighbour on May 11 last year.

The woman alleged she felt someone grabbing her hips from behind. She turned around and alleged it was the accused.

She said he touched her for a “long time” between her legs.

“I turned and pushed him away. He went away because I started screaming,” she said.

The court heard nobody witnessed the alleged incident or heard the woman’s screams.

She ran to work, where she eventually burst into tears and told her employer.

She worked her shift and he took her to a garda station.

Cross-examined by defence barrister Sorcha Whelan, the alleged victim denied that she was “paranoid” about the accused, had a strong dislike for him and the complaint was an attempt to remove him from the building.

Ms Whelan said the accused had made complaints about the alleged victim making noise.

The accused told the court he was not there at all and insisted he was buying vegetables in Tesco at the time.

“Everything is a lie. I am shocked at the allegations,” he said.

The court heard that both the accused and the woman still lived in the building.

Ms Whelan argued that it would be “inherently unsafe” to convict the accused on such “shaky foundations”.

State solicitor Ronan O’Brien argued that the accused had been “not credible.”