Wednesday 21 March 2018

Man convicted of sex assault removed from offenders register

Conor Gallagher

A MAN found guilty of sexual assault has been removed from the sexual offenders register after he was mistakenly added following his trial.

The Kerry man was convicted last January of sexually assaulting a woman as she slept in a bed with her two young children. In March, he was given a four-year suspended sentence by Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan and added to the sex offenders registers for five years.

Caroline Biggs SC, for the DPP, told Mr Justice Sheehan today that she had forgotten to inform him about Section Three of the Sexual Offenders Act 2001 which states that defendants cannot be added to the register if their victim is over 17 and if no prison sentence is imposed.

The act states that if such conditions are met, a sexual assault “shall not be a sexual offence for the purposes of this Act”.

Mr Justice Sheehan consented to the State’s application and ordered the defendant be removed from the register.

He had pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to sexual assaulting and raping the now 36-year-old woman on January 24, 2010. He was acquitted on a charge of raping the woman that same night at his Kerry home.

The victim told the trial that she had initially thought it was her partner who was touching her that night.

She said she had fallen asleep until she felt someone touching her vagina. She said she first thought she was dreaming and then thought it was her partner.

She turned to the left and felt a penis against her and then inside her.

“I opened up my eyes, looked up and realised where I was. I looked again and saw it was (the accused),” the victim told Ms Biggs.

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