Sunday 22 October 2017

'Gentleman' who grabbed woman's breast on busy street gets suspended sentence

Man's wife described him as a “gentleman”

Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin
Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin

Isabel Hayes

A man who sexually assaulted a woman by groping her breast on a busy Dublin street has been given a suspended sentence.

Darren Perkins (40) with an address in Kings Inn Street, Dublin was found guilty by a jury last February of one count of sexually assaulting the woman on August 22, 2015 at Smithfield.

He was described by his wife in court as a “gentleman”.

Handing down a suspended 12 month sentence today, Judge Cormac Quinn ordered Perkins to undergo a victim awareness program and address his cannabis and alcohol issues.

Garda Brendan Doyle previously told John Quirke BL, prosecuting, that the woman was walking down a busy street in Smithfield around 8.45pm on the evening in question when a man walking towards her groped her breast and squeezed it tightly.

The woman was alarmed and called out, before trying to follow the man, but she lost sight of him in the crowd.

The woman's mobile phone wasn't working, so she entered a nearby apartment block and asked the receptionist to call gardaí. She spotted the man again a short time later and pointed him out to gardaí.

When arrested, Perkins admitted bumping into the woman but denied touching her. He has five previous convictions.

A victim impact report from the woman was handed into court, but not read out.

Defence barrister, Damien Colgan SC, said Perkins was a married man. A letter was handed into the court from his wife in which she described him as a “gentleman”.

Mr Colgan said Perkins' previous convictions related to a drinking problem and this was in the past. He said on the night in question, Perkins had had more to drink than he should have.

He submitted Perkins was a man the court need no longer be concerned about.

He noted the victim in the case had not been physically harmed.

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