A Kerry man who attempted to rape a teenage girl he on a quiet road has been jailed for eight years by Mr Justice Paul Carney at the Central Criminal Court.
Patrick O’Sullivan (aged 40), Ballyorkane, Keel, Castlemaine, Co Kerry, threatened to kill his 16-year-old victim after telling her she was "asking for it" by walking alone on a country road.
O’Sullivan told the terrified teenager she was "lucky this time" after cars on the road scared him away. He pleaded guilty to attempting to rape near her home on April 24, 2004.
Mr Justice Carney declared O’Sullivan a sex offender and directed he be placed under five years post-release supervision. Reports on his mental condition established he "remained a risk for the future".
He was 39 years of age and she was 16 when he "jumped out from the hedge" and dragged her by the hair, banged her head off the ground and left her with serious physical injuries after punching her several times and putting his hands around her neck while she struggled.
Mr Justice Carney said O’Sullivan’s threat to kill her was "a credible one". She believed it and if he had been convicted of that as a separate offence he would have jailed him for 10 years.
Mr Justice Carney noted the victim had expressed the benefit to her of O’Sullivan’s guilty plea, which had been notified in advance of his scheduled trial date.
Superintendent Pat Sullivan told prosecuting counsel, Mr Paul Coffey SC, that O’Sullivan was arrested by Detective Garda John Brennan as a result of the victim’s description of him and his car.
O’Sullivan denied being out that night but gardaí had observed him leaving his home earlier and driving in the direction where he attacked the victim.
When O’Sullivan was told that DNA evidence matched his blood with semen on the victim’s tracksuit, he claimed it had been planted there by two people who "extracted semen" from him in his house.
Supt Sullivan agreed with defence counsel, Mr Patrick Gageby SC, that, shortly after his arrest concern about O’Sullivan’s mental health had been expressed by his solicitor. O’Sullivan’s mental health was examined and he was diagnosed as suffering from chronic delusions but not insane.
Supt Sullivan said the victim had been walking along the road waiting for friends to arrive in a car so that they could go socialising when attacked by O’Sullivan. He got her tracksuit bottoms and her underpants off and tried to rape her.
Some cars came along the road and she called out for her friends. O’Sullivan put his two hands around her neck and threatened to kill her saying: "Stop it, bitch," a few times. He also punched her several times.
Supt Sullivan told Mr Coffey (with Ms Cathleen Noctor BL) that after O’Sullivan left because the passing cars scared him, she heard another vehicle arrive and was afraid it was him coming back, but it was her friends, who alerted gardaí.
O’Sullivan’s nine previous convictions included a serious assault with a poker on his father and one for indecent assault in 1995 in a vacant house on a woman he took there after he offered her a lift.
A nine-month sentence for his was changed on appeal to 12 months suspended on condition that he pay the victim IR£1,000 compensation. He was also convicted of burglary with intent and criminal damage.
Mr Gageby said O’Sullivan had been detained in the Central Mental Hospital since June 18, 2004, when he was arrested after being told about the DNA evidence.