‘Thank God someone heard my screams’

A Polish man who sexually assaulted a woman while on a night out in Cork has been given a three and a half year sentence.

Jaroslaw Kupper, aged 39, got talking to the victim, who was socialising with friends, outside a pub after midnight. They had previously met briefly some weeks prior in another pub.

Kupper, of Millbrook in Midleton, Cork, pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to sexually assaulting the woman on September 28, 2013.

On the night of the sexual assault, Kupper and the woman began kissing before they went down a nearby laneway where she said things were “friendly”.

She said he then became pushy and aggressive before grabbing her arm. She said she told him she was going home but he pushed her to the ground.

While on the ground, he pulled down her jeans and underwear before she started to scream for help. A man in a nearby apartment heard her screams and called the gardaí.

Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy noted that the incident seemed to have gone on for a considerable time, relatively speaking, before the gardaí arrived.

He said the consequences for the woman had been serious but that she came across in her victim impact report as a balanced and humane person.

He said Kupper’s status as a foreign national serving a sentence in an Irish prison could only be a minimal factor, taking into account he had been working in Ireland for 10 years, must have considerable capacity in the English language, and the fact that his family remained here. Mr Justice McCarthy imposed a three and a half year sentence.

The woman told gardaí she remembered seeing the defendant’s penis erect and he rubbed it against her vagina for a few seconds before she managed to push it away.

Garda Eddie Crockett told prosecuting counsel Tim O’Leary when he arrived in the area he saw the victim on her back.

“There was an obvious struggle as her handbag and bracelet was scattered nearby and the defendant was struggling to stand up as he was intoxicated,” said Garda Crockett. He said both the defendant and victim had been drinking alcohol on the night.

He said the victim was “very distressed” and Kupper had volunteered his clothing and “came clean about the offence ultimately”. The court heard Kupper, who is married, has no previous convictions and works as a carpenter.

In her victim impact report, which was read out on her behalf by Garda Crockett, the woman said she was too fearful to be in the defendant’s presence in court, she said she was now “nervous in public places”, and the incident had put a strain on her social life.

“To say I was depressed is an understatement. I couldn’t even talk about it. I hear about something like this happening every day but I never thought it would happen to me,” she said.

“Thank God someone heard my screams. They may have saved my life and I thank him.

“It is very hard to continue like nothing has happened and I hope he receives the appropriate punishment,” she said.


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