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Tuesday 2 September 2014

Man (23) slapped woman on bottom 'to get a thrill'

Nicola Donnelly

Published 22/01/2013 | 05:00

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A MAN who followed a woman and slapped her on her bottom "to get a thrill" and because "she had a nice bum" has been sentenced to eight months.

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Sean Cullen (23), pictured, followed the woman who was out walking on a summer's evening last July and when he caught up with her, he slapped her bottom.

He told gardai he was under the influence of drugs at the time and was deeply apologetic.

Cullen, of Ashton Avenue, Ashton Brock in Swords, Co Dublin, pleaded guilty at Balbriggan District Court to sexual assault on July 26, 2011, at Drynam Road in Swords. Judge Dempsey said he could not avoid a custodial sentence, despite defence solicitor Fiona Darcy asking for community service, as it was a "terrifying ordeal for the young lady".

He imposed an eight-month prison sentence but released Cullen on his own recognisance of €400 and independent surety of €200 after Cullen immediately lodged an appeal to the sentence.

Garda Colum Donohoe earlier gave evidence that the 27-year-old woman was out walking when she became aware of a male following her.

"She began to walk faster and he sped up, and when she slowed down, he slowed down.

"She rang her boyfriend and while she was on the phone, the defendant came up behind her and slapped her on the bum. The woman's boyfriend arrived and confronted the man and called gardai," he added.

Cullen was arrested by gardai on December 12, 2011, and told gardai he "slapped her on the ass to get a thrill" and "she had a nice bum".

"He says it won't happen again," said Ms Darcy. "He has learnt his lesson to stay away from drugs."

Irish Independent

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