Saturday 1 October 2016

Man (27) grabbed woman and sexually assaulted her against wall as she walked home

Aoife Nic Ardghail

Published 19/10/2015 | 15:16

Judge's gavel.
Judge's gavel.

A Limerick man who grabbed a woman as she was walking alone at night and sexually assaulted her against a wall will be sentenced next month.

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Jonathan Colbert (27) of Hyde Avenue, Prospect, Limerick pleaded guilty on the morning of his Central Criminal Court trial to aggravated sexual assault in the city on October 13, 2013.

His previous convictions include assault, criminal damage, public order offences and attempted robbery.

Garda Donna Ryan told Gerry Clarke SC, prosecuting, that the woman had been walking home from a night out when Colbert grabbed her and dragged her into a nearby estate. Colbert pinned the woman, who was in her 40s, against a wall and banged her head off it three times.

He took down his trousers and underwear and tried to undo the woman's belt, as she screamed for help.

The court heard that a female resident in the estate contacted gardaí after she heard the screaming.

The woman was still screaming and struggling with Colbert when gardaí arrived on the scene. He pretended to make a phone call and then ran off.

Gda Ryan told Mr Clarke that Colbert was too intoxicated to be interviewed immediately after arrest, but that he later claimed his victim had engaged in consensual sex acts with him.

The court heard the woman declined to make a victim impact statement as she wished to put the matter behind her.

John Phelan SC, defending, handed Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan a psychologist's report on Colbert and asked her to make “any or all” of the recommended courses available to his client. Counsel asked the judge to be as lenient on Colbert as possible.

Ms Justice Heneghan directed that Colbert be added to the Sex Offenders Register and adjourned sentencing to Monday November 2 so she could read all documentation handed to her.

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