'Hyperactive' West Cork man jailed for sexual assault of teenage girl

As O’Donovan was being taken into custody by prison officers he said: 'I want to go home. My brother is waiting for me'
'Hyperactive' West Cork man jailed for sexual assault of teenage girl

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin imposed a sentence of 27 months at Cork Circuit Criminal Court on Andrew O’Donovan (pictured). Photo: Cork Courts Limited

A 64-year-old West Cork man who sexually assaulted a teenaged girl at the bus station at Parnell Place in Cork has been sent to prison for more than two years.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin imposed a sentence of 27 months at Cork Circuit Criminal Court on Andrew O’Donovan of Butlersgift, Drimoleague.

That consisted of the removal of the suspension on an 18-month sentence in another case where he sexually assaulted a teenaged girl when both he and the victim were in-patients in the same hospital ward.

A consecutive 18 months was imposed on him for the new offence, the last nine months of which were suspended.

The judge commented: “This man has no insight into what he is doing and that he might be a danger in the community. There does not appear to be any service to assist him. 

He lives in isolated conditions … and has some kind of personality disorder.

As O’Donovan was being taken into custody by prison officers he held up a container of prescription tablets and said: “I did nothing to her. I have tablets to take. I want to go home. My brother is waiting for me.” 

Detective Garda Craig Peterson said the 17-year-old girl was at the bus station in Parnell Place on the afternoon of August 20, 2020. She was standing alone when the defendant approached and asked her where she lived and started stroking her right arm, looking her up and down.

He asked her would she meet him on another occasion and she said she would not.

Det. Garda Peterson said: “He reached forward to touch her breast and she managed to catch his hand to prevent this.” The 17-year-old texted her mother to say that she would not get off at the stop nearest home and asked would she come and collect her as she explained what happened and that the accused was on the bus.

Identified on CCTV and later questioned by Det. Garda Peterson, Andrew O’Donovan said: “I am hyperactive. I can’t control what I do. It’s nature isn’t it.” The victim said she was scared and tried to make eye contact with people around her but that nobody came to her assistance. 

“I don’t feel safe anymore. 

I feel I have to cover my body completely in case I draw any unwanted attention. I was an innocent person minding my own business.

She expressed her gratitude to the bus driver for the kindness he showed on her way home that afternoon and to the gardaí for the investigation of the case.

The judge said it was a nasty experience for the young woman.

Dermot Sheehan, defence barrister, said the accused lived a meagre existence in Drimoleague and that matters had gotten even worse following the death of the defendant’s wife.

Even after he pleaded guilty to the single charge on the indictment earlier this month he said as he left the dock: “I did nothing to her.”

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