A young Cork woman who spent a lot of her life trying to come to terms with being sexual abused as a child was sexually attacked again as an adult – this time by a stranger who followed her as she walked home last December.
Within a week of the sexual attack on her on December 3 2021 she attempted to take her own life, the young woman said in a victim impact statement read on her behalf by Detective Garda Kevin Hastings who investigated the case.
She said the crime affected her mental health.
“No matter if you say no, what you wear or where you go, people take advantage,” she said.
The young woman hoped that by her making a complaint in this case it might help to prevent “another girl being sexually assaulted.”
Detective Garda Hastings of the Divisional Protective Services Unit charged 46-year-old Saadallah Ghoumrassi, who is from Algeria and living at temporary accommodation in Cork city, with the crime. The accused later pleaded guilty.
CCTV of what happened on the night in the particular area of Cork city was shown to him in the course of his interview.
Defence barrister Sinead Behan said, “He is horrified at what he saw, at how he behaved. He was quite shocked and he did apologise to the injured party and to the gardaí. He said, ‘I am not a bad person. It is the first time in my life I did anything like this’.
“He was suffering from depression. He was drinking on his own in Cork. He is 43. He is in Ireland for the past eight years. He finds life difficult here.
Ms Behan asked for sentencing to be adjourned so that he could do the Safer Lives programme and come under the direction of the probation service.
Judge Dara Hayes said, “This is an appalling offence – to take advantage of a young woman as she walked the streets of her own city.
Ghoumrassi was remanded in custody until January 30 and a date will be set then for sentencing.
Det. Garda Hastings alleged that the 21-year-old woman was in a vulnerable condition as she walked home from the city centre after midnight on December 3 2021.
“He approached her and attempted to interact with her. She rejected his conversation.
“She later fell on the ground and again he interacted with her. He picked her up and placed his hand in her groin area and her buttocks outside her clothes.
“This second sexual assault ceased when light from a passing car lit up the laneway.”
CCTV showed him interacting with the young woman who walked away and fell approximately 100 metres away, where he picked her up off the ground, and then escorted her down a dark laneway a further 500 metres from there.