Cork man back in jail after ‘running riot’

Cork man back in jail after ‘running riot’

“He embarked on a stealthy sexual assault on a sleeping woman. It is a sneaky, despicable crime."

A FERMOY man who got 18 months of a prison sentence for sexual assault suspended was put back in jail yesterday because, the judge, said “he is running riot”.

A four-year jail term, with the last 18 months suspended, was imposed on Owen Roche, aged 34, of 2 Hanover House, Fermoy, when he was convicted of sexually assaulting a woman as she slept after a drinks party.

A condition of the sentence being suspended required Roche to keep the peace and be of good behaviour for a period of three years after his release.

Garda Fiona O’Keeffe gave evidence yesterday of several fresh convictions against the accused for offences committed since his release from prison in January 2018.

The State was applying for a revocation of the suspension of the 18 months.

Roche was convicted in Bandon of carrying out three assaults. He was convicted in Fermoy of public order offences, and he is facing sentence for further public order charges to which he has pleaded guilty. Brendan Kelly asked Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin not to remand the accused in custody as he was working and because of his domestic arrangements.

He told the judge a probation report was being prepared.

Judge Ó Donnabháin remanded Roche in custody until February 4, 2020, saying the offences were more serious and continuous than he initially thought, adding: “He is running riot.”

However, the judge said that if there was a probation report available before the last day of the current term — November 29 — he gave liberty to the defence to have the matter re-entered.

Roche denied the sexual assault but last month at Cork Circuit Criminal Court a jury found him guilty of the crime which was committed on May 1.

The victim, who is in her mid-twenties, was asleep in bed at her home in North Cork after a drinks party which had been attended by a number of people.

Roche had been allowed to stay in the house and sleep on the couch.

Garda Fiona O’Keeffe told that trial that the woman woke to find there was a man in the bed lying behind her and with his hand on her vagina.

She turned around to find that it was not her partner and that it was the accused, and she told him to get out of the room.

“He embarked on a stealthy sexual assault on a sleeping woman. It is a sneaky, despicable crime,” Judge Donagh McDonagh said at the time.

“He knew full well she was asleep. There was not the slightest shred of consent or encouragement.”

The judge said he was distinctly unimpressed by the tone taken by the accused when he was interviewed by gardaí.

Roche referred to the victim as a “lying c***”.

“It was unnecessary, gratuitous, meant to be demeaning and insulting of her,” Judge McDonagh said. “It showed the mental attitude he had, he simply did not care. There is no remorse shown, no meaningful remorse.”

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