Man gets four years for sexual assault on victim who had head punched against wall

A man who says he was too drunk to remember knocking a woman unconscious before sexually assaulting her has been jailed for four years.

Anthony Ryan (aged 32) had been at a cheap drinks promotion at a night club earlier that night where he said he had drank seven large bottles of cider, four vodka and Redbulls, 3 “Jager-bomb” cocktails and two shots of Sambuca spirit.

Ryan followed the woman from the nightclub to her home where he attacked her, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard. He punched her seven times and twice punched her head against a wall.

The 18-year-old victim lost consciousness and when she woke up Ryan was sexually assaulting her. He fled when a neighbour heard the victim’s screams and interrupted him.

After his arrest later that night Ryan told gardaí that he was too drunk to remember talking to the taxi driver who dropped him off..

Describing his level of drunkenness Garda Brian Murphy said: “He wasn't falling around the place. He was intoxicated. I wouldn't put it at the very highest levels of intoxication but it would be up there”.

The court heard that Ryan had been drinking earlier in the Dusk nightclub at the Northside Shopping Centre Coolock and the club was running a low price alcohol promotion on the night.

Ryan of Belcamp Avenue, Priorswood pleaded guilty to assault causing harm and sexual assault of a woman at a Dublin suburb on July 13, 2012.

Judge Carmel Stewart said that the appropriate sentence in the absence of any mitigating circumstances was seven-and-a-half years.

But she said that considering his early guilty plea and his personal circumstances a five-year sentence was appropriate. She suspended the final year.

Garda Murphy told Fiona McGowan BL, prosecuting, that Ryan had earlier chatted to the victim and her friends in the nightclub and followed them home in a separate taxi.

The victim saw Ryan looking into the garden at her house. She came out and asked him nicely to go home and walked away.

She heard Ryan running towards her then and turned around to face him. Ryan punched her with a closed fist. He grabbed her hair and punched her six or seven times.

She was trying to escape his punches and when he hit her one last hard punch she hit her head against the wall and lost consciousness.

When she came to she was on her back and her legs were apart and Ryan was molesting her. She was shouting all the time and he was telling her to shut up.

A neighbour chased Ryan away. He was arrested later that night by gardaí after the garda helicopter had been deployed.

Ryan told gardaí he doesn’t remember talking to the taxi driver who drove him to the victim’s home.

He said: “I got this drunk and did something stupid to this girl. I am so sorry I just want it to be over as quick as possible for this girl. She doesn't deserve to go through all this again. I just can't remember.”

Gda Murphy agreed with Felix McEnroy SC, defending, that Ryan is genuinely remorseful.

Counsel said his client is “not a rich man” and that the €1,000 he brought to court as a gesture of compensation was “real money in his world”

The victim had declined to prepare a victim impact report or to attend the sentence hearing.

Ryan has 25 previous convictions but none of this level. They are mainly for road traffic offences, including drunk driving.

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