Tuesday 22 January 2019

Husband of Zappone adviser guilty of sex assault

Mayvine Gurriah and Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone
Mayvine Gurriah and Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone
Eimear Cotter

Eimear Cotter

The husband of a Government minister's special adviser took in a homeless teenager, let him stay in his apartment, then sexually assaulted the young man as he slept on a couch.

Mayvine Gurriah (39), who is married to Children's Minister Katherine Zappone's special adviser Jerry O'Connor, met the youth on a city street and offered him a meal and a place to sleep for the night, before putting his hand down the teenager's trousers and groping him, a court heard.

When gardaí arrived, Gurriah, who married Mr O'Connor in 2017, had left his locked flat and the victim (18) was on the second-floor balcony, shouting for help and threatening to jump.

Gurriah had denied sexually assaulting the teen, saying he had taken him in to help him, was not looking for sex and may have brushed against him accidentally while he was sitting on the side of the couch.

Finding him guilty, Judge Anthony Halpin said Gurriah had seemed like a good Samaritan but he had "turned into something monstrous" for the victim.

The judge ordered Gurriah to pay €1,500 compensation to the youth and to enter into a peace bond for one year.

Gurriah, who is originally from Mauritius, had pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting the teenager at his home at Seven Oaks, Sarsfield Road, Inchicore, on May 26, 2016.

When contacted, Ms Zappone declined to comment.

Irish Independent

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