Sunday 23 April 2017

Italian man jailed for sexually assaulting young woman after she left nightclub alone loses appeal

The was found guilty by a jury and sentenced to two-and-a-half years imprisonment with the final year suspended by Judge David Riordan on November 28 2014.
The was found guilty by a jury and sentenced to two-and-a-half years imprisonment with the final year suspended by Judge David Riordan on November 28 2014.

Ruaidhrí Giblin

An Italian man jailed for sexaully assaulting a young woman after she left a nightclub alone has lost an appeal against conviction.

Viorel Postolahce (32), an Italian national with an address at Barrack Street, Cork, had pleaded not guilty at Cork Circuit Criminal Court to sexually assaulting a woman at Crosse's Green Quay on July 17 2012.

He was found guilty by a jury and sentenced to two-and-a-half years imprisonment with the final year suspended by Judge David Riordan on November 28 2014.

Postolache failed in his appeal against conviction today on grounds that there should have been a “cross-racial identification” parade and that the jury should have been discharged following the victim's evidence.

The victim had said her car was parked half-way up a road and that the incident lasted ten seconds.

Dismissing his appeal, Mr Justice George Birmingham said Postolache's complaint regarding time and place given by the victim depended on taking the view that her remarks were intended as precise or scientific measurements.

“Needless to say,” Mr Justice Birmingham said, the young woman did not have an Olympic stop watch on her when she was assaulted and 'half-way' was a phrase used in everyday parlance to describe the point between two end points.

She had sought to indicate this was a very short incident and the matter did not require a direction on her evidence from the trial judge, he said.

These were classicly matters for the jury, Mr Justice Birmingham said.

On the second ground of appeal, the judge said Postolache was asked to stand on an identification parade but no such parade took place.

The injured party never purported to identify or recognise her assailant and when shown CCTV footage during the course of his detention, Postolache confirmed that he was the person shown in certain aspects of the footgae.

Mr Justice Birmingham said there was nothing unsafe or unsatisfactory about the trial and the verdict was one which was entirely open to the jury.

Mr Justice Birmingham, who sat with Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan and Mr Justice John Edwards, dismissed the appeal.

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