‘Opportunistic’ sex assault on drunk woman

A woman was sexually assaulted in an “opportunistic” crime after she became drunk and passed out when she came out of a pub, Cork Circuit Criminal Court heard yesterday.

Polish national Marek Krol pleaded guilty to assaulting the woman on February 1 this year.

The court heard that the woman left the Bowery bar, Cork, in the early hours of the morning. At 1.20am, gardaí were alerted by a member of the public who had become concerned for the safety of the woman.

The member of the public said the woman had passed out and that a man in his 50s was caressing her and kissing her neck. Gardaí arrived at the scene. When they woke the woman, she said she did not know Krol. Gardaí brought her home and an investigation was launched.

Garda John Twomey said that CCTV footage indicated the incident was more serious than they first believed. The footage revealed that Krol had opened the woman’s pants and put his hand inside. The woman was informed of the assault and said she did not know that it had happened. She was very disturbed and distressed.

On April 1, Krol was arrested at his home in Clarence Apartments, St Luke’s, Cork. Initially, he was evasive with gardaí but when he saw the CCTV footage he made a full admission of guilt. He admitted to gardaí he had found the 25-year-old passed out and had touched her inappropriately. He apologised for his actions.

In a victim impact report, the woman said: “Before the incident, I would have described myself as a positive person. I was horrified and extremely embarrassed to see the footage. I felt ashamed and angry with myself.”

Alice Fawsitt, defending, said her client had experienced “regret and disbelief” at his actions. She described the offence as having been “opportunistic”. She said it was Krol’s first offence.

Taking the guilty plea into account, Judge David Riordan imposed a two-year suspended sentence on Krol. He was ordered to pay the victim’s medical bills for the period after the assault.

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