Man remanded for assault on girl, 14

A deaf and dumb Czech national who sexually assaulted an Estonian girl after grabbing her on a public street in Dublin and pulling her down a laneway has been remanded on bail pending sentence.

A deaf and dumb Czech national who sexually assaulted an Estonian girl after grabbing her on a public street in Dublin and pulling her down a laneway has been remanded on bail pending sentence.

Karel Cerney (aged 32), was dragged off the girl and held for gardaí by a man who heard her screams for help.

Cerny, of Melville Court, Finglas, told gardaí he had no recollection of assaulting the then 14-year-old girl but could remember grabbing her after "something turned within me".

He claimed he had not singled her out because of her age and said he was willing to accept her evidence and that of the witnesses who came upon the scene.

"Many many sorrys. I really want to express my remorse to the girl," Cerney told gardai in interview.

He pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to sexually assaulting the teenager on July 24, 2006.

Judge Katherine Delahunt adjourned the case to next April to allow for Cerney to be assessed by the Granada Institute.

Garda Graeme Loughman told prosecuting counsel, Ms Karen O'Connor BL, that the victim described how Cerney put his hand into her underwear, after pushing her to the ground. He held his hand over her mouth and tried to open his trousers.

She was surprised that Cerney was not reacting to her screams for help but people passing by soon came to her rescue and one man dragged him off her and held him until gardaí arrived.

Gda Loughman said the victim was "very frightened and afraid she would be killed". She returned to Estonia after the assault where she received counselling but had since returned to Ireland and was settling back into school although she still has some problems.

Cerney had no previous convictions. He came to Ireland in 2004 where he married his second wife, who is also from the Czech Republic, in 2005.

Gda Loughman agreed with defence counsel, Ms Lisa Dempsey BL, that Cerney told gardaí he was "unusually intoxicated" that night, having drank wine at dinner with his wife and friends and then beer and vodka at a party later. He had no recollection of the actual assault.

Gda Loughman agreed that Cerney was kicked in the face by the man who lifted him off the victim but later accepted an explanation from Ms O'Connor that this man found him lying on top of the girl and was not sure if he had a weapon on him.

He further accepted that it was an isolated incident and that Cerney grabbed the girl in full view of people on a public street.

Ms Dempsey told Judge Delahunt that her client could not explain his actions on the night and that he was extremely remorseful for "any anguish" he caused the young girl.

He was a qualified welder and a dance teacher in his homeland but found it difficult to get work in this capacity in Ireland. Cerney and his wife currently work in a factory in Finglas making sandwiches.

She said it was "an isolated incident" that was "totally out of character" and asked Judge Delahunt to adjourn the sentence to allow for the preparation of a report from the Granada Institute.

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