A man who sexually assaulted an 18-year-old youth in a Westport hotel after a stag party must complete community service in lieu of a prison term.
The 30-year-old defendant, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the victim, pleaded guilty at Castlebar Circuit Criminal Court to sexual assault on October 20, 2018.
Evidence previously heard the victim returned at 2am to the hotel room he was sharing with two other people. He was in a double bed and a short time later the defendant came in and got into the single bed.
However, the older man climbed into the double bed and began to feel the victim’s chest before pulling down his underwear and feeling his private parts.
The defendant tried to turn the teenage victim over and attempted to digitally penetrate him.
The victim asked him to stop and get off him, but the accused, who was naked said: “Just go with it.” The victim hit out at his attacker before leaving the room to contact another man who was also at the party.
At the resumed hearing, barrister Diarmuid Connolly said his client simply could not remember what had happened but did not dispute what the victim said. After the incident, there were some punches thrown at his client in ‘street justice’.
“The offence occurred in the context of intoxication, which is not a defence, but is in the context of attending a stag party,” said Mr Connolly, adding that the defendant fully accepts he was completely in the wrong.
Since the incident, the accused and his girlfriend have moved to another part of the country and started a new life.
“The chances of him meeting the victim again are most remote but if they find themselves in that position, he will undertake to leave.” Mr Connolly said there was no grooming or planning involved in the offence and it amounted to “a monumental mistake that had a profound effect on the victim”.
Over the past three years, the defendant had undertaken therapy and was remorseful and contrite over his actions. He had also brought €4,250 in compensation to the court.
Judge Rory MacCabe sentenced the accused to 200 hours of community service in lieu of a three-year prison term and ordered him to remain under the care of the Probation Service for one year.