A security guard who sexually assaulted a teenage woman after she got off a Nitelink Bus has had his sentence adjourned by Judge Desmond Hogan at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.
David McHugh (aged 30) from Finnstown Lawn, Finnstown in Lucan, Co Dublin pleaded guilty to the sexual assault and the false imprisonment of the woman in the early hours of March 14, 2003.
Garda Geraldine Ennis told prosecuting counsel Ms Martina Baxter BL that the young woman alighted from the the bus at around 2am after attending a Dublin city centre disco with friends.
While walking home she heard someone running behind her and was then grabbed by a man who forced her over a fence into a green area.
Garda Ennis said the woman started to scream and her attacker said he would kill her if she didn’t keep quiet. He had his left hand round her waist and his right hand over her mouth. She dialed 999 on her mobile phone but this was later taken from her.
The woman was then pushed onto the ground near some bushes and the man opened the buckle of her belt and pulled down her jeans and underwear. He held her head down so she couldn’t move and she was crying and begging him to stop.
She believed he was going to rape her but he wasn’t successful. He suggested oral sex but when she refused he said that he would make a deal with her that if she kept her head down he would "just go". He then ran from the scene.
When the woman got up she noticed her bag, which contained her bank card, passport, mobile phone and make up, had gone.
She went home where she alerted the gardaí who got a description of him and arrested him at his workplace the following day. Gda Ennis said he admitted he had grabbed the woman and walked her towards some trees and grass. He told gardaí that his brain was telling his body not to do anything and he "couldn’t get a hard on."
McHugh said he grabbed her mobile phone and put it in his pocket before also grabbing her bag and running off. He kept the phone but threw the bag away.
Garda Ennis said that a victim impact report on the woman showed she now had reservations about going out on her own and using public transport but she was "a very positive girl."
She said McHugh had three previous convictions for larceny and public order offences.
Counsel for McHugh said he had been homeless for a period, had educational difficulties and had developed an alcohol problem. On the night of the incident he had been off alcohol for some time before "having a significant feed of drink and carrying out this scandalous assault."
He praised the garda investigation into the assault as "impeccable" and said that neither the gardaí nor his client could have done more to bring the case to a quick conclusion.
Judge Hogan put the case back until December 1 for the preparation of a probation and welfare report because he said he wanted to be appraised of whether there was a risk that McHugh would reoffend. He was released on bail until that date.