herald

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Man in sex assault on woman as she slept

A MAN has been given a suspended sentence for sexually assaulting a woman as she slept at a party.

The man, who cannot be named to protect her identity, sneaked into the room after she had gone to bed. He later admitted he started kissing and touching her in the hope that she would think it was her partner and not him.

Judge Catherine Murphy imposed a three-year sentence which she suspended in full on various conditions including that the man continues to address his alcohol issues and that he engages with offence and victim awareness services. He was declared a sex offender at a previous hearing.

remorse

The 32-year-old pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to sexual assault of the woman at a Dublin home in early 2013. At an earlier hearing his defence counsel told the court that the man had €2,000, which he had saved up, as a token of remorse for the victim.

Lisa Dempsey BL, for the prosecution, said the victim does not want this money and would prefer that it goes to the Rape Crisis Centre. Judge Murphy directed that the man's solicitor pay it over to the charity.

A local garda told the sentencing hearing that the woman was at the party but had little contact with the man throughout the night.

She went to sleep in the early hours of the morning in a bedroom. Sometime later she awoke to find the accused on top of her. She initially thought it was her partner but then realised it was the accused and cried out.

bedroom

The man left the house but later came to the garda station and made admissions. He said he went into the bedroom to get a blanket and then got into bed beside the woman and began kissing her.

He said he touched her breasts before she "freaked out" and realised it was him.

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