No jail for man convicted of sex assault

An Estonian man who had sex with a woman while she slept because he thought “she was nice to everyone” has been given a suspended sentence because of the “unique circumstances” of the case.

Kuula Rooden (29) of Upper Quartertown, Mallow went back to the woman’s house in Cork with a group of friends after they had gone to a nightclub. He told gardaí he had seen her kissing a man in the club and when she got back she went to her room with one of his friends.

He said his friend then told him “it’s your turn” so he went into her room. He claimed he thought “she was nice to everyone” because she had been with the man in the nightclub as well as his friend.

The court heard the woman woke up while Rooden was having sex with her and thought it was his friend who had been in bed with her earlier. When she realised it was Rooden she kicked him in the stomach. He got out of bed and apologised.

Mr Justice Barry White said he was taking a lenient view of the case because of the “unique and unusual circumstances”.

He noted Rooden had offered a plea of guilty to sexual assault at an early stage and took this into consideration.

He sentenced him to five years, suspended in full on condition Rooden leaves for Estonia and does not return to Ireland for five years.

Rooden pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to the sexual assault of the woman on November 24, 2007 in Cork.

Garda Andrew McCarthy told prosecuting counsel, Mr Patrick Marrinan SC, that Rooden had arrived in Ireland to work in the forestry industry. He and a group of friends were in the woman’s apartment the night after he arrived. They went out to a local nightclub and returned to the apartment later that night.

She set up beds for her guests in the sitting room before going to her room with one of the men. Her and the man engaged in sexual activity and he later left the room while she was asleep. She told gardaí she later awoke to someone having sex with her and assumed it was the man.

When she realised it was Rooden she kicked him off and became very upset. He apologised and said it was a mistake. The guests then left the apartment and she rang her employer who contacted the gardaí.

Rooden was arrested the next day and claimed his friend had told him it was “your turn” so she was consenting to sex with him. He was released on bail and later returned to Estonia when he lost his job in Ireland.

He was arrested and sent back to Ireland where he was charged.

Defence counsel, Mr Thomas Creed SC, said Rooden has one previous conviction for theft in Estonia . He said his client’s only wish is to return to his country as soon as possible.


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Wesley O’ Regan is the General Manager of Popscene in Voodoo Rooms, Cork city. Popscene opened last November and is Cork’s only themed bar that is dedicated to celebrating the best of the 80s and 90s. https://www.facebook.com/PopsceneCork/You've Been Served: Wesley O'Regan, Popscene

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