Saturday 22 October 2016

College student jailed for 'sexually assaulting woman after climbing into her bed while she slept'

Declan Brennan

Published 20/04/2015 | 17:46

Dublin’s Circuit Criminal Court
Dublin’s Circuit Criminal Court

A Cork based student who sexually assaulted a woman after climbing into her bed while she was asleep has received a prison sentence of six years with two suspended.

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The victim awoke to find Trevor Andre (27) straddling her and trying to put his penis into her mouth. She punched and then squeezed his testicles and shouted at him to get out.

Andre of Pembroke Woods, Passage West, Co Cork had pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to attempted rape and sexual assault of the woman at a house in Cork on June 8, 2013.

At the end of a trial a jury of four women and eight men convicted him of the charges.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt suspended the last two years of the sentence on condition that he remain under the supervision of the Probation Services for two years after his release.

Andre, a native of Seychelles, told gardaí after his arrest that he accepted she may not have been fully awake and that her eyes were closed throughout the sexual interaction.

In her victim impact report the woman, who is in her twenties, said she cannot sleep without taking tablets and even then she is awoken by vicious nightmares. She suffers panic attacks and has changed from being a confident person to someone who is unable to trust anyone.

Sergeant James Sweeney told Marjorie Farrelly SC, prosecuting, that the victim had gone to a BBQ party  earlier that evening and later went into Cork city with some friends.

Returning from town later she met Andre and a man she knew and the three went back to her house and ate toasted sandwiches. The men were drinking alcohol but at this stage she was not. They left when she went to bed.

Andre went back to her house about 40 minutes later and entered, uninvited, through an unlocked door. He got into the woman’s bed and began kissing her and molesting her breasts.

He sexually molested her with his finger and then raised his hips to her face. The woman awoke and screamed at him. Andre then dressed and left.

The victim called gardaí who arrived shortly afterwards. Sergeant Sweeney told the court that she was upset and appeared to be sober.

Andre told gardaí he had consumed 26 alcoholic drinks on the night and was highly intoxicated. He said he thought the woman was enjoying the sex, saying “I misread everything”.

Sean Gillane SC, defending, said his client came from a good family in Seychelles and was here to study in the National Maritime College in Ringaskiddy. He has no previous convictions.

He said Andre feels shame and has tried to imagine the effects of his actions on the victim. Mr Gillane said his client had offered to plead guilty to sexual assault but had always denied the attempted rape charge.

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