Courts

Saturday 2 August 2014

Babysitter awarded €50,000 after teen sexual assault

Tim Healy

Published 13/03/2014|16:52

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A woman has been awarded €50,000 in High Court damages against a man who sexually assaulted her while she babysat his two children.

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David Durkan, Summerhill Road, Trim, Co Meath, did not appear in his defence, nor was he represented, in the civil action taken by the woman over the incident which happened on December 9, 2006.  She was 16 at the time. 

Counsel for the woman, who is now 24, told the court she was babysitting for Durkan and his partner and he had come home alone from the pub, at around 2.30am, when he subjected her to the sexual assault.

The court heard the girl had intended staying overnight at the house.

The girl told the court she had fallen asleep and awoke to find Durkan kissing her on the neck and he started taking her clothes off.

She fought him off and tried to run out the door but he prevented her.  

"I eventually got out and hid under the next door neighbour's car", she said. 

The court heard he was prosecuted and in 2009 pleaded guilty to the assault in Trim Circuit Court.

The woman said the incident had frightened her and made her very nervous.  

Medical reports showed she was still affected by the incident and had a distrust of men, the court was told.

She later left and travelled around Australia for a time, only returning to Ireland last month.

Awarding her €50,000 against Durkan, president of the High Court Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns said this was a deeply disturbing incident.  

The girl was very frightened by what he had done but she managed to get free of his clutches by "giving him a good kick", the judge said.

The girl was very distressed by the incident and required counselling, he said.  

She had a very bad time as a result but she was a young woman who has since been able to get on with her life and had travelled to Australia.

Durkan, who the judge said had drink taken and who had also watched a pornographic video before the assault, had abused a position of trust which was utterly unacceptable.

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