Saturday 10 December 2016

Man who made 'persistent unwanted sexual advances' towards teen carer given suspended sentence

Fiona Ferguson

Published 24/10/2016 | 16:50

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A man who sexually assaulted a 19-year-old agency worker caring for his elderly mother has been given a three and a half year suspended sentence.

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Declan Jordan (46) told gardai he had been drinking before what was described by his defence counsel as a “once off” incident. Jordan was described as embarrassed and ashamed at his actions.

Jordan, of Maryfield Drive, Artane, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to sexual assault of the woman at his mother's home on June 8, 2015. He has no previous convictions.

Judge Melanie Greally noted that Jordan had consumed alcohol before making “very persistent unwanted sexual advances” towards the victim who made it clear she was not sexually interested in him.

She said the offence was a “deeply upsetting violation” of the victim and had severe consequences for her in terms of her career, family and relationships.

“The effect cannot be overstated, it was a severely upsetting and gross violation of a young woman making her way in the world,” said Judge Greally.

Judge Greally said Jordan had entered an early guilty plea and expressed remorse. She noted he was in a turbulent stage in his own life at the time. She said the conduct appeared to be out of character.

She said testimonials handed into court vouched for the role he had taken in caring for his late father and also in looking after his mother in an attentive fashion.

The judge said Jordan was attending counselling and addressing his problematic use of alcohol. She noted Jordan had been assessed to be at low risk of re-offending.

Judge Greally said the court must mark the serious nature of the sexual assault but must also balance it against the approach Jordan had taken to the prosecution. She said he had acknowledged his very serious wrongdoing and engaged in steps to address his risk factors.

She imposed a three and a half year sentence which she suspended in full and ordered him to undergo 18 months’ probation supervision. She said he should continue to attend with One In Four or a similar organisation until they deemed it no longer necessary.

Judge Greally said he should continue to participate in offence focused work and attend the Stanhope Centre in relation to alcohol.

Defence counsel, Justin McQuade, submitted that Jordan had paid €1,800 towards the economic loss suffered by the victim who no longer worked for the agency.

Judge Greally said she had taken this into account but said that it was not a critical element of sentencing. She said the main factors were his lack of previous convictions and the manner in which he had addressed the prosecution.

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