A drunken Bandon man who sexually assaulted a 15-year-old neighbour on her way home along a quiet lane had one year added to a term he was already serving and the new sentence was suspended.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said the sentence was suspended on the basis that the accused man would go into residential treatment on his release from prison.
Peter O’Flynn defence barrister said the defendant anticipated that his present jail term would end in November. Judge Ó Donnabháin required the accused to abide by directions imposed on him in relation to post-release addiction treatment for a period of 12 months.
Referring to the evidence of assault heard earlier in the week the judge commented, “He accosted her as much as assaulted her.”
Garda Noelle Rock testified at Cork Circuit Criminal Court that a woman arrived at Bandon garda station with her 15-year-old daughter to make a complaint in relation to a sexual assault.
“She told me that two days previous on the Sunday evening she met the accused who was known to her on an isolated road,” Garda Rock said. The accused man was on his phone and the teenager got the impression he was “off his head.”
He called her back and asked her to make a rolly for her. He asked if she had a boyfriend. She said she did not. He said it was a shame she didn’t.
During the incident the teenager saw him take a tablet.
Garda Rock said that when she arrived home she told her mother the neighbour had asked her to roll a cigarette.
When her mother responded by saying that she hoped she said no, the teenager said she did say no and said no more about the incident. However, the next day in school she told a teacher and the matter was reported to her mother.
When the accused was questioned about the matter he continuously said, “I am not sick like that.”
The Director of Public Prosecutions directed that the case could be dealt with at district court level but the accused opted for trial by judge and jury at Cork Circuit Criminal Court. When it came before this court the defendant, who is aged around 40, pleaded guilty to the sexual assault on the 15-year-old.
Defence barrister, Peter O’Flynn, said the accused had a mild addiction disability from childhood compounded by massive addiction issues.
Mr O’Flynn BL said, “He is extremely remorseful. This is completely out of character. He took this case very badly and became suicidal when he realised what he had done.”