herald

Monday 18 December 2017

Sex attacker had 2 knives, court is told

Claim: Suspect threw woman on couch

A RESIDENT at a centre for people with learning difficulties sexually assaulted a carer, then armed himself with two knives when the alarm was raised and gardai arrived, it has been alleged.

The accused (23) is alleged to have attacked the woman in a television room at the HSE centre, throwing her to a couch, groping her and trying to remove her bra.

A court has been told that when gardai arrived, he was carrying a knife in each hand and had to be "tackled" and disarmed before being arrested.

The defendant is facing trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on charges of sexual assault and possession of weapons, after Judge Aingeal Ni Chonduin decided the case was too serious to be dealt with at District Court level.

The charges are contrary to the Criminal Law (Rape) Amendment and the Firearms and Offensive Weapons Acts.

He had a book of evidence served on him when he appeared in Dublin District Court on the charges.

The offences are alleged to have happened in a Dublin premises on a date in February last year.

Smack

The prosecuting garda told Dublin District Court she was called to the address at 5.30pm following a report that a woman had been attacked and a man was in possession of knives.

She arrived and met the defendant, who had a knife in each hand, she said.

The officer and a colleague tackled him, got the knives off him and arrested him. He was placed in the back of a patrol car.

At the scene, the garda went into the house the call had come from, which was a centre for people with learning difficulties, run by the Health Service Executive.

She spoke to the alleged victim, who said she had been in the house alone with the accused and when she went into the sitting room, he was watching television.

It was alleged he grabbed her and threw her down onto the couch, jumped on top of her, put his hand down her trousers and tried to smack her bottom. It was also alleged he was trying to open her bra.

"While all this was happening, she kept fighting him off, eventually she broke free and ran to the back garden of the house and called for help," the garda said.

Judge Aingeal Ni Chonduin refused jurisdiction to deal with the case at District Court level.

State Solicitor Dermot O'Neill said a book of evidence was ready to be served and the DPP was consenting to the defendant being returned for trial to the present sittings of the Circuit Court, on both charges.

aphelan@herald.ie

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