Man charged with sexual assaulting sleeping woman in Dublin hotel

Man Charged With Sexual Assaulting Sleeping Woman In Dublin Hotel Man Charged With Sexual Assaulting Sleeping Woman In Dublin Hotel
A close up photo of a man's hand, wearing a suit with buttons on a sleeve, pressing the button with his index finger, ringing a bell on a reception of a modern hotel.
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Tom Tuite

A man has been charged with sexually assaulting a woman who was asleep in a Dublin hotel after she had already withdrawn consent.

The alleged incident happened after they agreed to cease sexual activity earlier in the evening, but he decided to "take a chance", Dublin District Court was told.

Thomas Headon (39), of Pearse Street, Dublin 2, is accused of sexual assault on a date in 2013.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) directed the case could be dealt with at District Court level on a guilty plea.

However, after hearing a summary of the allegations, Judge Smyth refused jurisdiction and held the case should be sent to the Circuit Court, which has broader sentencing powers.

Outlining the evidence, Detective Sergeant Bryan Hunt said the accused and the complainant, then in her late 20s, met while socialising in Temple Bar.


They returned to a hotel room in Dublin 4 and engaged in consensual sexual activity in the toilet area. After about 20 minutes, they ceased and discussed stopping the activity, which the man acknowledged with her.

The court heard after they stopped, she fell asleep on a bed but later felt someone on top of her.

One of a kind case

The court heard her tracksuit bottoms were removed and she felt his erect penis.

Defence solicitor, Dara Robinson, described the case as being almost one of a kind. He said they willingly engaged in a significant degree of sexual activity but the woman then withdrew consent in no uncertain terms.

Mr Robinson said Mr Headon was very drunk and tried to "take a chance". However, when the complainant woke up, she made her feelings clear and he absconded.

The accused was later interviewed and subsequently left the country due to a romantic pursuit. He remained out of the jurisdiction for a long time, the court was told.

Mr Robinson said his client's passport was stolen and he let the matter rest, but added that he returned in August, at which point he was charged.

Mr Robinson asked the judge to note the informed view of the DPP, which had been fully appraised of the facts of the case, and said he felt the matter was on the lower end of the scale.

However, Judge Smyth, who described it as a very serious matter, refused jurisdiction.

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The accused was remanded on continuing bail to appear again in December. He is to be served with a book of evidence and returned for trial to the higher court.

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. 

In the case of an emergency, always dial 999/112. 

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