Saturday 3 December 2016

'I remember thinking if this happens I will never get over it' - Woman tells of terror fighting off sex attack on morning jog

Elaine Keogh

Published 12/05/2016 | 06:42

(stock)
(stock)

A MAN has been jailed for sexually assaulting a female jogger and pulling her into the River Boyne during her morning run.

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Jason Corr (26), with an address at Harpur House hostel, William Street, Drogheda, was yesterday sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison for the terrifying attack.

Dundalk Circuit Criminal Court heard how the victim fought against him, both in and out of the water during on November 20, 2014.

The woman was wearing a high-vis vest while doing a 10-mile run on the ramparts beside the Boyne in Drogheda.

She had met no one else until she glanced over her shoulder and saw the accused running behind her. He did not look like a jogger and was not dressed appropriately.

She kept running and when she looked back she saw he was coming towards her with his two hands out straight.

She thought he wanted her iPod or Garmin watch and she shouted at him.

He said nothing and kept coming towards her, the court heard. She handed the iPod and watch to him and he shook his head from side to side and came at her.

The woman succeeded in pushing him over a wall but he held on to her and, the court heard, they fell into the river.

She was submerged and in a kneeling position while the man grabbed her tracksuit trousers, pulling them down.

The woman, who was not named, pushed and shoved and shouted: “No, this isn’t happening.”

Suddenly he stopped and walked back towards Drogheda.

The woman injured her right knee and left foot and her back was scraped.

Gardai got a search warrant for the address at which the accused was staying, and at the scene he made certain admissions to Det Gda Amy O’Sullivan and was arrested.

Gda O’Sullivan agreed with Aaron Shearer, defending, that the accused had told gardai he felt bad and wanted to apologise. He said he was on tablets at the time and had not slept the night before. 

His apology was repeated in court, which was told he was assessed as being in the mildly intellectual disability range.  Corr has eight previous convictions, none for sexual assault.

Gda O’Sullivan read out the woman’s victim impact statement as she did not want to come to court. 

She said she is fearful of men, particularly in hoodies, and she crosses the road when she sees them.

She said that if he had been successful in his sexual assault “from a mental point of view I don’t know where I would be”. 

“I remember thinking when I was in the water and fighting him, when he was trying to pull my clothes off, if this happens I will never get over it,” she said. 

“I think this gave me the strength and fight.”

Passing sentence, Judge Michael O’Shea said it was a terrifying ordeal for the woman who was subjected to a “shocking, horrific, humiliating, embarrassing and degrading ordeal”.

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