Wednesday 22 May 2019

Man jailed for sexually assaulting fiancée's friend on night of engagement party

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

Declan Brennan

A taxi driver has being jailed for one year for a sexual assault on his fiancee's friend on the night of their engagement party.

Aaron Doran (32) was convicted after a trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court last November. He pleaded not guilty to the sexual assault of Sarah Powers at Kilcarraig Close, Tallaght, Dublin on June 21, 2015.

The complainant waived her right to anonymity so that Doran can be identified, Sinéad McMullan BL, prosecuting, told the court.

Detective Cian Stears testified Doran was engaged to Ms Powers' friend and on the night of the engagement party they were all out with a large group of people. He said a lot of alcohol was consumed on the night.

Later Ms Powers and Doran and his fiancee went back to Kilcarraig Close and the complainant went to bed. She said she was falling asleep when Doran came into the room and got into her bed and touched her vagina.

He said to her “show me your clit” and then got up and walked out. Ms Power became very upset and left the house and later went to gardaí.

Doran met with Gda Stears and told him he was drunk on the night and had gotten into the wrong bed and that it took him a minute to realise the woman was not his girlfriend.

Judge Elma Sheahan said that Doran's failure to acknowledge his wrongdoing raised a question as to the level of insight he has into his offending.

She noted that Ms Powers viewed Doran as a brother and the offence was an abuse of this trust. Ms Powers told the court that the assault left her traumatised.

“I trusted you like a brother. My life was derailed. I felt so lost after. I felt abandoned and betrayed,” she said. She said she was terrified during the assault and was tormented by the memory of it.

Ann Rowland SC, defending, said the offence was completely out of character for her client and that he had led an otherwise “entirely blameless life”.

She said a massive quantity of drink was consumed on the night. She said that Doran “never previously treated anyone in any way less than an honourable way”.

Ms Rowland handed the court a number of testimonials on behalf of Doran.

Judge Sheahan suspended the last 18 months of a two and a half year prison term. She noted the mitigating factors included Doran's previous good character and past good deeds and a long history of employment.

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