A man who was drunk when he sexually assaulted a young woman who was lying unconscious near a Luas stop has been jailed for four years.
Christopher Carthy (25) of Cushlawn Park, Tallaght pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to sexual assault on April 1st, 2021 at a Luas stop in Dublin city.
Diana Stuart BL, prosecuting, told the court that on the morning of that date the injured party, who was a vulnerable person in her 20s, began drinking at around 10am.
Later that day, some friends who became concerned about her arranged for her to get on to a Luas and go home. The woman later told gardaí that she remembers nothing between sitting at a Luas stop and sitting in a garda station speaking to a female garda.
Ms Stuart told the court that a witness told gardaí that he was driving around the area when he saw a woman lying on the ground near the Luas stop. He saw a man walking over to her and heard him speaking to her, but she didn't seem to respond.
The man continued driving but returned to the scene a short time later and saw the man on top of the woman touching her inappropriately and feeling her groin area.
Gardaí arrived at the scene and had to drag Carthy off the woman, the court heard.
Sarah Jane O'Callaghan BL, defending, told Judge Martin Nolan that her client was so drunk himself and that he appeared to be completely oblivious that his degrading behaviour was completely outside of social norms, let alone criminal.
Gardaí took the woman to a garda station for her own safety. Carthy was arrested and told gardaí he had no memory of the offending, which was caught on CCTV.
In her victim impact statement the woman said she blamed herself for what happened to her. She said the assault left her feeling down about herself and her self-image and was struggling to sleep.
“It's not okay for anyone to do something so cruel” to another person, she said.
Ms O'Callaghan told the court that her client started drinking at the age of 13 and that the vast amount of his theft offences are for stealing alcohol.
Judge Nolan said that Carthy took advantage of the woman's vulnerable position on the evening and that his actions were cowardly and "gravely reprehensible".
He noted that he has no previous convictions for sexual violence and that it was unlikely he would reoffend like this again.
But he said Carthy deserved a custodial sentence for "taking advantage of someone who is obviously incapacitated because of alcohol intake".