Tuesday 24 April 2018

Amateur magician is jailed for holding friend captive and sexually assaulting her

Niamh Griffin

An amateur magician who threatened a female friend with a knife, held her captive and sexually assaulted her has been sentenced to six years in prison.

The 28-year-old had pleaded guilty at Central Criminal Court to sexual assault, false imprisonment and production of a knife on the 23rd of November 2011 at his Dublin home.

The man and his victim had met through the friendship website “Tagged” when he said he had done some work as a magician at a pub.. The man had a girlfriend at the time, and the woman often visited his house to play Sega.

The court heard the man had attempted suicide in 2010 but contacted friends including the victim who had alerted gardai.

Mr Justice Paul Carney said the man had made “a credible threat to kill” his victim, and his attempted suicide could not be a mitigating factor.

Justice Carney sentenced him to six years for falsely imprisoning the woman and assaulting her and four years for the use of a knife to run concurrently. He had previously registered the man as a sex offender.

On the night of the assault, the woman’s father dropped her at the man’s house.

The man had been drinking and seemed upset as he had broken-up with his girlfriend. The victim agreed to take part in a conjuring trick to cheer him up.

The man handcuffed her hands behind her back and attempted to blindfold her.

Garda Ciara O’Sullivan agreed with Dara Foynes, prosecuting, that the woman tried to make him stop and shook off the blindfold. She saw he was wearing a white mask, latex gloves and had a hunting knife in his hands, the prosecution said.

He said to her: “Don’t make a sound or I will kill you”.

He forced the woman to cancel a lift home with her father – holding the phone – then cut buttons from her shirt and cut her bra.

He then straddled her and masturbated her while holding the knife. As she became more upset, he said to her: “I could never hurt you. I was only messing. I’m sorry, it was a joke that went too far.”

He allowed the woman to go home in a taxi.

Ms Foynes said he tried to contact the women via texts, MSN and Facebook after the incident.

Garda O’ Sullivan read the accused man’s statement to the court.

“I brought it (the knife) down quickly in a stabbing motion. I remember thinking I’d taken it too far.

She looked really angry, she was really upset,” he said.

He has no previous convictions.

Mr Patrick Gageby SC, defending, said: “He is not some sort of hard chaw, but rather a fragile young man, quite introverted.”

The man’s girlfriend gave a character testimony to the court, she was visibly upset and unable to look at him.

The man’s family were in court today to hear sentence passed.

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