Man jailed for sex assault on sleeping woman

Man Jailed For Sex Assault On Sleeping Woman Man Jailed For Sex Assault On Sleeping Woman
In her victim impact statement, the woman said: "I have the power back. Believe me I won't be putting my head down any longer."
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Sonya McLean

A man who messaged a woman’s sister and admitted having sex with the victim while she slept has been jailed for three and a half years.

The man texted the victim’s sister after the assault and admitted that he had carried her to bed after she had fallen asleep. “I just did it and she woke up,” one message said.

The woman stated in her victim impact statement that her friend knew she was “vulnerable, intoxicated and unable to look after myself”, before she described him as “a predator” who “took advantage of me”.

Attack at party

The 27-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the 27-year-old victim, pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to sexually assaulting the woman at a house party in Dublin on October 28th, 2018. He has one minor previous conviction.


The court heard that after the assault the man was in contact with the sister of the victim. The investigating garda told Shane Costelloe SC, prosecuting, that those messages would have formed part of the State’s case.

The man was arrested and in interview with gardaí he acknowledged that he had sex with the woman while she was asleep.

The evidence in the case was first heard in October last year and the man was remanded in custody to allow for a psychological assessment after his defence team said he had difficulty “grasping the enormity of what has happened”.

It has been adjourned since on a number of occasions due to difficulties with the preparation of those reports.


The court heard that the prosecution accepted a guilty plea to one count of sexual assault, which they agreed met the case, and a count of rape was withdrawn.

Today Mr Justice Paul McDermott said the man “committed this assault on this young woman when he knew she was intoxicated and asleep”.

“She thought he was a friend and that she was safe with this person,” the judge said.

He noted the man has expressed remorse for his actions but that he has limited insight and understanding into his offending and issues around consent and sexual relationships. The court heard he has a mild intellectual disability.


The judge handed down a sentence of four and a half years but suspended the final year on a number of conditions, including that the man not make any contact with the woman or her family, via social media or any other method.

The man cried as the sentence was handed down.


At the previous hearing, Mr Costelloe read the woman’s victim impact statement into the record in which she stated that the incident will stay with her forever.

“You were my friend. The person that I used to socialise with, and I thought I was safe with you; honestly thought I was safe. I had comforted you that night and was being a friend to you.”

“You did that to me hours later. You did that to me because I was vulnerable, intoxicated and unable to look after myself. You knew what you were doing and took advantage,” the woman continued.

She said she has lost her self esteem and her mental health has suffered. She said she lashed out at people and blamed herself for his mistake.

“You took all my power from me. I thought it was my fault,” the woman’s statement continued before she said that the most traumatic part for her was her assessment at her local Sexual Assault Treatment unit.


“It felt like you had assaulted me again. It was horrible,” she said.


She said she now sees her friend as “a predator” and she has started self harming because she couldn’t talk about the pain she was going through. She still attends counselling.

“I was always the person who got everyone up dancing. I used to love wearing dresses and skirts. My friends said they miss me.” She said she has seen him a few times since with people they used to hang around with together.

“Now you know what I have gone through. You put me through this. How fucking dare you! That all stops today because I have the power back. Believe me I won't be putting my head down any longer. I will be smiling inside,” the woman concluded.

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Giollaíosa Ó Lideadha SC, defending, said the victim impact was read to his client, and it has had a maximum impact on him.

Counsel said he previously had “extreme difficulty in fully and comprehensively embracing his responsibility and guilt in the full extent that he should”.

“I now have explicit instruction that he is truly sorry for the hardship he has caused, and he has expressed the hope that she can move on with her life.”

Mr Ó Lideadha said a probation report before the court refers to some difficulty his client has in grasping the enormity of what has happened, but the more it is discussed, the more he seems to appreciate this.

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