Judge: Sex assault case ‘malicious slander’

A JUDGE has ruled that a Co Clare woman maliciously slandered a delivery man by falsely claiming he had sexually assaulted her while making a delivery to her home.

At Ennis Circuit Court, Judge James O’Donohoe found that Eileen Kearse, of 53 Clancy Park, Ennis, and now living in Lissycasey, maliciously slandered married father of four, James Kennedy of Carrowduff, Kilshanny, Clare, to his employers in September 2004.

Judge O’Donohoe ordered that retired truck driver Mr Kennedy be paid €7,500 in damages and ordered Kearse to pay his costs.

Kearse alleged that while making a delivery of building supplies to her home in April 2004, Mr Kennedy had pinned her up against the sink in her kitchen in her home by grabbing her arms and pushing himself against her, making a lewd comment.

The married woman also alleged that she threw Mr Kennedy off before he followed her and pinned her against the door when she grabbed a hammer nearby to protect herself.

During a day of evidence in court last week, Mr Kennedy said: “I had no act, hand or part in any assault on the woman. There is no basis for what she is saying. Absolutely none... It is all false. It never happened.”

Mr Kennedy told the court that the trauma he has suffered as a result of the allegation “has been absolutely unbelievable”.

Counsel for Mr Kennedy, Donal O’Rourke, said that Kearse had made the malicious allegation of sexual assault as part of a vendetta against Mr Kennedy because of continuing trouble between Kearse’s son, Johnathan, and Mr Kennedy at their workplace, Shannonside Building Supplies.

Judge O’Donohoe said: “I’ve no doubt that Eileen Kearse maliciously slandered Mr Kennedy to his employers in September 2004.”

He added: “The motive, I have no doubt, relates to her son and his precarious employment position at Shannonside Building Supplies and his difficult relationship with Mr Kennedy.”

Kearse reported the alleged assault to Mr Kennedy’s employers in September 2004 and to the Gardaí in February 2005.

Mr Kennedy was interviewed by Gardaí and the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) ruled that no prosecution should take place.

Judge O’Donohoe said: “The defendant did not report the sexual assault to the Gardaí until after her son’s job had been terminated.”

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