A 27-year-old man has appeared before a special sitting of Fermoy District Court charged in connection with the alleged sexual assault of a woman who was out walking her dog in a park in the county Cork town over the weekend, Vadim Veste of Clancy Street, Fermoy, Co Cork is charged with sexually assaulting a female on the 7th of November last in St Colman's Park, Fermoy.
The charge is contrary to Section 2 of the Criminal Law Rape Amendment Act 1990, as amended by Section 37 of the Sex Offender Act 2000.
The Moldovan national, who also has Romanian citizenship, is also charged that on the 7th of November last at St Colman's Park in Fermoy he assaulted a female causing her harm contrary to Section 3 of the Non Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997.
Evidence of arrest charge and caution was given by Det Garda David Barry. He said that Veste made no reply when the charges were put to him under caution. Gardai objected to bail arising out of the seriousness of the charges.
Det Garda Barry said that Veste, who is a married man with children, has no ties to the jurisdiction. He expressed concern that Veste could flee the country rather than face trial.
Judge Alec Gabbatt was told that Veste is employed in a meat factory in Cork having moved to Ireland eleven months ago. He resides with his mother in Fermoy.
Det Garda Barry stressed that a file is being prepared for the DPP with the possibility of the defendant facing further more serious charges.
He stated that the woman was sexually assaulted whilst out walking last Sunday evening at 6.40pm in a park in Fermoy.
Her attacker was not known to her.
The middle-aged woman was pulled to the ground from behind into a dark unlit part of the walkway. The victim was punched in the face with her attacker kneeling on her body. A woolly item was placed in her mouth. The attacker sexually assaulted the woman.
The woman kicked and fought back with her attacker placing his hand in her mouth and damaging her mouth and her lips. Det Garda Barry said the woman scraped the face and hands of her attacker. Two members of the public heard her cries for help and the attacker fled the scene.
Mr Veste was arrested in Fermoy on Tuesday. Det Garda Barry claimed that there was strong evidence against Veste as the DNA recovered from the hand of the injured party was a profile match for the Moldovan man. He said that during the Garda interview Veste accepted he was the male involved in the unprovoked assault in the town last weekend.
The court heard that gardaí had CCTV footage which allegedly places Veste in the area prior to the assault and that when he was arrested he had a four-inch hunting knife in his possession. Det Garda Barry said that Veste faces up to five years if he is convicted in relation to the charges. Det Garda Barry claimed that Veste was caught “red handed” and that the evidence against him was very strong.
He said that he feared that Veste would interfere with witnesses to the incident if he was granted bail in the case.
He stated that the victim in the case was traumatised and needed medical attention following the attack. She is finding it hard to sleep since she was assaulted last weekend. Det Garda Barry also said that he feared that Veste would commit offences whilst on bail.
Defence solicitor Daithi O’Donnabhain said that his client’s passport was in the possession of gardaí and that he didn’t pose a flight risk. However, Det Garda Barry insisted that he wouldn’t be satisfied with Veste receiving bail with even the most stringent of conditions.
Judge Gabbett declined to grant bail in the case given the “nature and strength” of the evidence against the accused.
Veste was remanded in custody to appear by video link before Cork District Court on the 18th of November next.