A MAN totally denied all charges against him in relation to an alleged incident where he was accused of sitting beside a 21-year-old woman on a bench by The Lough, assaulting her, stealing her phone and chasing her when she ran away.
Conor Ryan, 35, from Bansha Road, Tipperary Town, was refused bail at Cork District Court on charges of assault causing harm to the young woman, a non-national in Cork for the past several months, stealing her phone and common assault on Jamie Fraser, who was described as coming to the young woman’s assistance.
Conor Ryan said in the course of his bail application, “I am not pleading guilty under any circumstances. I would rather die.” Detective Garda Stephen Fuller testified that he arrested Conor Ryan and charged him with the offences and was objecting to bail being granted to the accused.
“It is alleged the victim was sitting on a bench at The Lough at 9.30 p.m. on July 20 when it was alleged the accused sat down beside her on the bench.
“After a period of time the victim had cause for concern and attempted to leave. It will be alleged the victim was effectively manhandled by the accused at The Lough and it will be alleged he took her mobile phone and placed it in his back pocket.
“She managed to retrieve her phone and ran. She was chased by the accused and he caught her at the junction with Glasheen Road and the accused squeezed her and put his arms around her and caused her distress.
“Two men who previously intervened at The Lough ran to the woman’s aid. She ran to the gate of student accommodation.
“The accused was arrested (eight days later) on July 28 by myself having sat down beside a Chinese female on a bench at The Lough,” Det. Garda Fuller said.
When the detective described the alleged circumstances of the arrest, defence solicitor Eddie Burke objected to the evidence and said, “He is not charged with that. He (the detective) is trying to muddy the waters.” Det. Garda Fuller said the accused had been staying at Sheila’s hostel in Cork for a few days.
Conor Ryan said his reason for being in Cork was a job interview. Commenting on the charges against him he agreed with Sergeant John Kelleher that they were very serious charges but he added, “They are complete, absolute nonsense. It is a disgrace.”
He said CCTV would show, “I just catch her hand to move her along beside me because the other fella was following us. It is like you pull a child along the street, you cannot say that is assault.” He said he had worked in Vietnam for a year but could not get back there even if he wanted to return.
“You cannot go to Vietnam unless you are on a diplomatic mission… I will not be pleading guilty to any charges. I have nothing to run from.”
Sgt. John Kelleher put it to the defendant he did not tell gardaí he was staying at Sheila’s hostel. Ryan said he did and added, “They are lying. I told them casually and formally.” During his cross-examination, the defendant said to Sgt. Kelleher, “You are deliberately playing with words.”
Judge Kelleher said the defendant was not doing himself any good by the way he was giving evidence. The judge remanded him in custody for a week to allow time for directions to be obtained from the Director of Public Prosecutions.