A Cork woman who put up with years of harassment by a middle-aged man in her area finally made a complaint to gardaí when he sexually assaulted her outside her home.
The sexual assault, which was described for Judge Helen Boyle at the sentencing hearing, consisted of him slapping her on the backside and then laughing and walking away.
It was also noted that while the harassment initially consisted of persistent unwanted attention, it went on to become more concerning as he began to stalk her.
She would see him regularly walking up and down in front of her home and sometimes stopping outside.
The defendant in the case is not identified as it would lead to the identification of the victim of a sexual assault and she has a legal right to anonymity.
Garda Gavin Barry testified that the harassment went on from June 2013 to July 2020 and the sexual assault occurred on July 13, 2020 when the defendant slapped her on the buttocks.
Defence barrister Donal O’Sullivan suggested: “It went on for a very long time although only escalated at the very end.”
Garda Barry agreed and said:
“There were multiple unwanted messages and gifts, culminating in stalking and pacing up and down outside her home and eventually leading to the sexual assault.”
The accused has been in custody since February.
Mr O’Sullivan BL said the defendant’s father was ready to take him back home to the UK and have him admitted to a psychiatric facility.
Garda Barry said the defendant’s father was a great help and co-operated with gardaí throughout the investigation.
Judge Helen Boyle said the main aggravating factor in the case was that the offences impacted the injured party’s mental health.
“She accepts you are very unwell. She would be grateful if you would stay away from her and get the medical help you need. In fact, she wishes you well.
“You have a long history with mental health services and have a diagnosis of bi-polar affective disorder. You have no previous convictions.
“Your parents worked very hard to get you into treatment in the UK. He will take you to the UK to a secure psychiatric facility.”
The judge imposed a sentence of two years, backdated to February and suspended from now on condition that he has no contact with the victim for the next 20 years and stays out of Ireland for 20 years.