Monday 16 September 2019

Dublin man on trial for allegedly sexually assaulting sleeping woman

The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin
The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin

Brion Hoban

A Dublin man has gone on trial for an alleged sexual assault on a sleeping woman he met earlier in a night club.

Patrick Beauchamp (26) is also accused of head-butting a man who claims he witnessed the assault and who told Beauchamp “If that was my sister I'd kill you”.

Mr Beauchamp of Pembroke Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin, has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to one count of sexual assault and two counts of assault causing harm at his home in the early hours of May 10, 2015.

The woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, gave evidence that she was out in Copper Face Jack's nightclub with her friend when she bumped into an acquaintance as well as the accused for the first time.

The four went back to Mr Beauchamp's house. She said she lay down on the couch and the accused put his hand up her dress. She told him to stop and pushed him away.

The woman said she fell asleep and had no recollection of the alleged assault. She said when she woke up the two men were already fighting.

Her acquaintance gave evidence that he saw the accused lying on top of the woman and “humping” her with his pants slightly pushed down exposing his backside. He said she appeared “to be out of it” .

He testified that he told Mr Beauchamp “If that was my sister I'd kill you” to which the accused allegedly replied “If that was your sister I wouldn't give a f***”.

He said that the accused then headbutted him in the nose. He said they began to grapple and continued to do so until the older brother of Mr Beauchamp came downstairs and told them to stop.

He said he then left along with the woman and her friend, only to be followed down the street by Mr Beauchamp. They exchanged words and then the accused struck him in the face with his fist.

Garda Tara Power gave evidence that she was on a routine patrol that morning and observed the accused punching the man in the face.

Mr Beauchamp told the jury that he had not gotten on top of the woman. He said that the other man became aggressive towards him and that he had acted in self-defence.

He said he struck him with a closed fist but said he didn't headbutt him. He said he followed the group out of the house to get the woman's surname and that this man again swung at him first.

Mr Beauchamp said that the woman was lying about him putting a hand up her skirt and that aside from a kiss in the kitchen he had not touched her at all. He said she had not been asleep on the couch and that she was standing beside him when the fighting began.

The trial will continue tomorrow afternoon when Judge Patricia Ryan will give charge the jury of six women and six men.

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