A deaf Czech man who sexually assaulted a girl after pulling her down a laneway has been given a suspended sentence by Judge Katherine Delahunt at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.
Karel Cerny (aged 32) grabbed the girl from a Dublin street and pulled her down a laneway before being dragged off her 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 hadn't 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. He pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting the teenager on July 24, 2006.
"Many many sorrys. I really want to express my remorse to the girl," Cerny told gardaí in interview.
Judge Delahunt said The Probation Service was prepared to become actively involved with Cerny, who been assessed to be at a moderate risk of reoffending.
She imposed a four-year sentence which she suspended on strict conditions including engaging with The Probation Service and with The Lighthouse Project, a community-based treatment programme for sex offenders.
Judge Delahunt noted that Cerny had already been added to the sex offenders register which she said the court considered to be a penalty in itself. She gave liberty to the State and The Probation Service to re-enter the matter should any of the terms of the suspension be breached.
Garda Graeme Loughman told prosecuting counsel, Ms Karen O'Connor BL, that the victim described how Cerny 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 Cerny wasn't 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 her native country 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.
Cerny 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 Cerny told gardaí he was "unusually intoxicated" that night, having consumed 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 Cerny 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 wasn't sure if he had a weapon on him.
He further accepted that it was an isolated incident and that Cerny grabbed the girl in full view of people on a public street.
Ms Dempsey told Judge Delahunt that her client couldn't 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. Cerny and his wife currently work in a factory in Finglas making sandwiches.
Ms Dempsey submitted it was "an isolated incident" that was "totally out of character".