A 44-year-old man barged into a 20-year-old woman’s house at night, sexually assaulted her, and said she was going to wake up beside him.
Donal Quirke of Beech Walk, Clann Ard, Fermoy, Co Cork, faced sentencing yesterday at Cork Circuit Criminal Court, having pleaded guilty to a charge of sexually assaulting the woman at her home, physically assaulting her boyfriend, and trespassing.
Sergeant Christopher Murphy testified that the woman was at home with her boyfriend that night, and he was upstairs asleep. The woman heard someone at the front door and presumed it was a relative.
“She opened the door and Donal Quirke barged in without her consent,” Sgt Murphy said. “He was intoxicated and she asked him to leave. He refused. “He was asking why was she with her boyfriend and said she could do an awful lot better than him.
The defendant asked to use the bathroom. The woman pretended there were dogs in one of the rooms, hoping that this pretence would frighten the defendant.
“When he returned from the bathroom his demeanour had changed,” Sgt Murphy said. “He became quite aggressive. He pinned her against the wall and said: ‘You are going to wake up beside me in the morning.’
“He put his hand down the waistband of her pants on to her buttocks and tried to pull down her shorts. She was in fear she was going to be raped. He attempted to kiss her. She ran upstairs and woke her boyfriend.”
During an altercation with the woman’s boyfriend, Quirke said he was going to have sex with the woman. The boyfriend threatened to throw the defendant down the stairs if he did not leave, and they managed to get him out of the house and call gardaí.
Thewoman said in her victim impact statement that, since this happened on August 10, 2019, she felt unsafe being anywhere alone, and this had placed a burden on her boyfriend and family.
“I am too scared to be by myself,” she said. “I just hope I can go back to not being scared all the time. The one question I keep asking is why he picked me, why it happened to me.”
Defence barrister Paula McCarthy said Quirke had brought €3,000 to court for the victim, who indicated that it could be sent to Marymount Hospice instead.
Judge Brian O’Callaghan urged her think about this and said it was very benevolent of her to take this attitude. The judge suggested that she would consider using some of the money for a holiday.
He said she could think about it. The judge adjourned sentencing of Quirke until April 22 so a probation report could be prepared.
Imelda Kelly, prosecution barrister, said the injured party did not want to be identified but had no issue about identifying Quirke.