‘I worry I will never be able to trust intentions of men’

A French woman who decided to go for a walk along the bank of the Blackwater in north Cork encountered young men tending horses and was sexually assaulted by one of the men.

‘I worry I will never be able to trust intentions of men’

Patrick Tobin, aged 27, with an address at 8 Fanmore, Gould’s Hill, Mallow, Co Cork, pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting the young French visitor who decided to go for a walk along the river that Saturday afternoon.

Garda John Horgan said that when she went into a field, she saw some young men tending horses and asked them to identify the best path for a walk by the river.

Tobin volunteered to go for a walk with the young woman on the occasion, July 2 2016.

As the young French woman was taking a photograph of the river, she turned around to see that Tobin had taken out his penis and he called her to look at it.

Garda Horgan said the young woman tried to remain calm, realising how precarious her situation had become. She decided to walk on as if nothing had happened.

Tobin walked with her and had his hand down inside his pants as he walked. He took out his penis again and asked her to have sex with him.

She decided to start walking back and was becoming increasingly anxious. A second man who had been with the group came over and gave her a kind of bear-hug but she managed to shake him away.

Tobin asked her for a kiss and she did not want to anger him so she pointed to her cheek. Garda Horgan said Tobin rubbed his penis against her bottom and that this was the physical act which constituted the sexual assault.

When she got back to where she was staying, the gardaí were called. They arrived to find that she was visibly upset by what had happened to her.

Tobin was later arrested. While he admitted going for a walk with the young woman, he denied the sexual allegations.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin described the nature of Tobin’s sexual behaviour as manic and remanded him in custody until November 7.

In her victim impact statement, the young woman said: “I have developed anxiety about secluded places and I am no longer at ease with strangers. I have begun to take note of people’s appearances in case I need to describe them in detail again.

“When I returned home to France, I was very uncomfortable in the presence of other men including my male friends. I am fearful and do not trust the intentions of men as a result of this incident.

“I have also lost self-respect. I do not feel attractive and have stopped feeling that I would like to present myself as a beautiful person in the eyes of others.

“Because of what this man did, I have been unable to maintain romantic relationships. I crave for a relationship and as a result of this I have begun to compensate the lack of company with food. I have gained a lot of weight.

“I worry that I will never be able to trust the intentions of men in the future.”

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