A 62-year-old man was due to go on trial by judge and jury on Monday on a charge of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl in a hospital ward in the early hours of the morning but today he confessed to the crime.
The accused asked through his barrister Dermot Sheehan to be arraigned on the charge at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
When the charge was put to him the reply he made was somewhat incoherent and he was asked to repeat if he was pleading guilty or not guilty.
Again the reply was somewhat indistinct.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said the matter could go ahead as a trial on Monday.
However, when the accused was asked for a third time how he was pleading, he replied that he was guilty.
Mr Sheehan BL said there was a long psychiatric history in the defendant’s past and that he was under the care of mental health services.
The judge was told that identification of the accused would not identify the complainant.
However, Judge Ó Donnabháin said he would put a blanket prohibition on identifying the parties until the case comes up for sentencing on February 7, 2020.
He was remanded on continuing bail until then.
It was alleged that the 62-year-old man and the teenager were sharing a hospital ward at Cork University Hospital at the time of the sexual assault, Detective Garda Caroline Keogh said previously.
Det Garda Keogh said that when she cautioned the accused man that he did not have to say anything but that whatever he might say could be given in evidence, he replied, “I did nothing to that girl. I just shook her hand.”
Det Garda Keogh outlined the allegations in the case where the defendant allegedly sexually assaulted the teenager.
It was alleged that at approximately 5am on May 14, 2018, at a ward in Cork University Hospital which both parties were sharing, the defendant allegedly approached her bed where she was sleeping and touched her breasts and vagina and she woke up during this disputed incident.
The accused man’s bail requires him to sign on once a week at his local garda station in County Cork.