Karate champ appeals conviction for Cork sex attack which witnesses recorded

Court heard people who had witnessed the attack recorded it
Karate champ appeals conviction for Cork sex attack which witnesses recorded

Bagrat Kudzievi was jailed for seven years, with the final year suspended, on December 1, for sexually assaulting Rachel McElroy on her first college night out in Cork City in October 2019. Picture: Cork Courts Limited

A Georgian man sentenced last month for a sexual assault in Cork City has lodged an appeal against his conviction and sentence.

Bagrat Kudzievi was jailed for seven years, with the final year suspended, on December 1 for sexually assaulting Rachel McElroy on her first college night out in Cork City in October 2019.

One year was suspended on condition that he leave the State and return to Georgia after his release from prison.

Ms McEloy waived her right to anonymity in the case.

In October, Kudzievi, who was a martial arts champion, was convicted of two assaults on Ms McElroy at locations in Cork city centre on the night of October 19, 2019. He denied the charges. His sentence was backdated to October 2019, when he was first taken into custody.

The court heard Ms McElroy had not had a lot to drink but she has no memory of the attack on her, or of the immediate aftermath.

Sexual assault victim Rachel McElroy waived her right to anonymity in the case. Picture: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Cork Courts Limited
Sexual assault victim Rachel McElroy waived her right to anonymity in the case. Picture: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Cork Courts Limited

The scene of where the first attack is alleged to have taken place was an alcove near the nightclub she had been in, with evidence heard she was moved across a bridge and onto a pavement where she was further assaulted, before being discovered by bouncers from the nightclub who had followed her because they were concerned about her.

Kudzievi attended the sentencing by video link from prison and told the court via an interpreter he would commit suicide if he is in prison for seven years.

During the sentencing last month, Judge Tara Burns said the case portrayed every young woman’s worst nightmare.

She continued: “It started with a group of young women going out with friends on a night out. This was an innocent night out — a bunch of young women out enjoying themselves and having a relatively small amount of alcohol. For whatever reason, it had a very significant effect on her.” 

The court heard people who had witnessed the incident recorded it. The judge said Ms McElroy would have to live with the fact that she had been recorded by strangers in a sexual act in public.

The court was also told Kudzievi was a former karate national champion in Georgia, as well as a silver medallist at European championships.

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