Man (24) who sexually assaulted elderly landlady gets suspended sentence

Man (24) Who Sexually Assaulted Elderly Landlady Gets Suspended Sentence
A young man who climbed into his 79-year-old landlady's bed and sexually assaulted her in the middle of the night has been given a suspended sentence.
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Isabel Hayes

A young man who climbed into his 79-year-old landlady's bed and sexually assaulted her in the middle of the night has been given a suspended sentence.

The 24-year-old man pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to one count of sexually assaulting the woman in her Dublin home in the early hours of March 17th, 2023.


The court heard the man, who can't be named to protect the anonymity of the victim, had been out socialising on the night in question and had drunk alcohol for the first time. He has no previous convictions.

Detective Garda Eamon Moylan told Rebecca Smith BL, prosecuting, that the man had recently arrived in the country from his native Asia and found lodgings with the woman, who had two other female lodgers living with her.

On the night in question, the woman awoke in the middle of the night to find someone in bed with her, pressing his body against her and rubbing her thighs. She turned on the light, discovered it was the young man and shouted at him to get out.

The woman immediately alerted the other lodgers to the man's behaviour and rang her daughter and gardaí. The man was arrested and spent six weeks in custody before being granted High Court bail.


The court heard that shortly before entering his landlady's room, the man had gone into the bedroom of one of the other lodgers and was trying to talk to her, using Google Translate on his phone. He made a reference to sex and this woman told him to get out.

Nicola Cox BL, defending, said the man had little to no English and had only been living in the country three weeks at the time of the offence. She said he had not drunk alcohol before and was intoxicated on the night in question after drinking six pints of beer while out with friends.

She said his parents were of limited means but had paid for their son to come to Ireland to study English. He is being supported by members of his community and a number of testimonials were handed in on his behalf.

Ms Cox said the man was extremely remorseful for his actions on the night. “He made a very grave mistake by taking alcohol and committing this offence,” she said.


The court heard the man had €1,000 to give to the woman as a token of his remorse.

A victim impact statement was handed into court but not read out. The court heard the woman was deeply affected by the incident and no longer has any lodgers.

Passing down sentence on Friday, Judge Jonathan Dunphy said the offence was a breach of trust between a lodger and his landlady. He noted the man got into her bed in the middle of the night and was “rubbing his body against her in a sexual manner”.

In mitigation, the judge noted the man had cooperated with gardaí, pleaded guilty, had expressed remorse and has not come to the attention of gardaí since. He said the risk of reoffending was low.

The judge handed down an 18-month sentence, which he suspended on a number of conditions.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can call the national 24-hour Rape Crisis Helpline at 1800-77 8888, access text service and webchat options at or visit Rape Crisis Help. 

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