Tuesday 28 January 2020

Father in 'sexsomnia' assault case gets two years

Declan Brennan

A FATHER who claimed to suffer from a condition known as "sexsomnia" has been jailed for two years for the sexual assault of his cousin.

Before being led away from court, the convicted man shouted "you f*****g liar" to the victim and "you bastards" to investigating gardai.

The man, from the Dublin area, had pleaded not guilty at the city's Circuit Criminal Court to the sexual assault at his cousin's flat on August 11, 2009.

Judge Patricia Ryan sentenced the man, whose partner gave birth this week, to three years' imprisonment, but she suspended the final year.

She said the defendant had a previous good character but that she had to mark the seriousness of the offence and the effect that it had on the victim.

The trial heard that the man had been sleeping on the floor of his cousin's bedroom when he got into her bed, pulled her pyjamas off and then sexually assaulted her.

The man's defence team had argued that he had a history of sleepwalking and of carrying out sexual acts while asleep.

But lawyers for the State argued that the man was intoxicated and that this was not a defence against sexual assault.

The court heard that the man believes he has a condition, described as "sexsomnia", which causes sufferers to carry out physical and sexual assaults in their sleep.

His then pregnant partner told defence counsel Eanna Molloy that over the course of their eight-year relationship she had lost count of the number of times she had awoken to find him having sex with her, apparently while still asleep.

Pregnant

She said on many of these occasions he was sober and that he would not remember the sex the following day.

The victim told the court that her family had been "torn apart by lies and accusations" that she was making up the allegations against her cousin.

She said: "My family has been broken apart. We were always closeknit. I never expected my cousin to do this. I could not believe this was real.

"I felt betrayed. When I told my mother, I had to get someone to say it because I was too traumatised to speak."

After a seven-day trial in February, a jury of 10 men and two women took less than 90 minutes to return the unanimous verdict.

Judge Ryan had adjourned sentencing until this week after being told the man and his partner were expecting their second child. His son was born on Wednesday.

Irish Independent

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