A Galway man who sneaked into the bedroom of a childhood friend and sexually assualted her has been certified as a sex offender and remanded on continuing bail to await sentencing.
The 24-year-old defendant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared at Galway District Court last Monday where he pleaded guilty to the sexual assault of a woman in a house in the city on November 9, 2008.
Garda Pauline Heverin gave evidence that at 2.30am the 23-year-old injured party had returned to her rented accommodation after a night out with friends, one of whom was the defendant. The man had been invited to stay at the house that night along with other friends. At 5am the woman woke up to find the defendant in the bed “with his hand down her knickers” . The shocked woman immediately forced the defendant out of the room. The court then heard that as the defendant was leaving the room he stated that he must phone his girlfriend to say that he had felt someone up.
While being questioned by gardai the defendant did not co-operate. Garda Heverin said that the defendant claimed to have no memory of the incident and that he had taken a lot of drink.
The injured party, who was accompanied in court by her father, told Judge Mary Fahy that the incident had affected her greatly and that she still sees a counsellor.
“This is a very serious assault,” said Judge Fahy, who then enquired as to the injured party’s attitude about sentencing. The victim replied that although the defendant had “used alcohol as an excuse” she did not want him to go to prison, however, she did want a penalty that will ensure that he did not commit such an act again.
Judge Fahy ordered the defendant to sign on to the sex offenders list for five years and remanded him on continuing bail to appear in court again on December 16, 2009, for sentencing.