A 32-YEAR-OLD man who groped a 14-year-old girl while she slept was given a 12-month suspended sentence at last week’s Portlaoise Circuit Court.
The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was previously given a ten-month sentence for the offence at a sitting of Portlaoise District Court, having been convicted of sexual assault in a home in Portlaoise on June 28, 2011. He was appealing this ten month sentence at the circuit court.
Defence, Mr Rory Hanniffy said there was now a “fulsome” probation report on his client, which deemed him “a low enough risk”.
Remarking that the injured party had “a disgusting experience inflicted on her”, Judge Tony Hunt imposed a 12-month sentence, suspended for 12 months on condition the man keep the peace, be of good behaviour, and remain under the supervision of the probation services. He will also be subject to notification under the Sex Offenders Act for five years.
Facts of the case were outlined at an earlier court sitting, by Garda Ray Demody and State solicitor, Mr Donal Dunne.
The court heard that the injured party went to bed at 3.15am, but was woken up to find the defendant with his hand up her top, squeezing her breast. She screamed and the owner of the house came to the room, where a struggle ensued with the defendant. There were four adults in the house, including the defendant. The girl had arrived at the house for a sleepover and had been playing cards and Monopoly. Some of the adults were drinking alcohol, but the girl was just drinking Coke. The girl got into bed in her clothes and when she woke up, she felt a hand going up and down under her top, with the defendant’s hand moving from around her belly button up to around her breast.
The defendant wrote a letter of apology to the injured party, but she did not wish to receive it. She was satisfied to accept his offer of €1,000 compensation.