Thursday 22 March 2018

Man who tried to sexually assault woman in McDonald's ladies toilets turned himself in after his parents saw him on RTE's Crimecall

McDonald's on Grafton Street, inset Grainne Seoige and Philip Boucher Hayes present Crimecall
McDonald's on Grafton Street, inset Grainne Seoige and Philip Boucher Hayes present Crimecall
Grainne Seoige and Philip Boucher Hayes presented Crimecall

Alison O'Riordan and Sonya McLean

A Cavan man who “lurked” in the ladies toilets of a McDonalds before trying to sexually assault a woman turned himself in after his parents saw him on Crimecall.

Adrian Smith (33) of Curkish, Bailieboro pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm and attempted sexual assault of a woman in McDonald's on Grafton Street on June 14, 2014. He will be sentenced next July.

Grainne Seoige and Philip Boucher Hayes presented Crimecall
Grainne Seoige and Philip Boucher Hayes presented Crimecall

Garda Siobhan Murray told Karl Finnegan BL, prosecuting, the woman tried to reason with Smith on two occasions and told him it was not worth the hassle as they were in a public place and he would be caught. As she started to scream, he told her to shut up.

She called for help causing Smith to punch her in the face. Smith then unbolted the door and left the toilets.

On September 22 2014, footage from the restaurant was broadcast on RTE's crime-investigation programme, Crimecall. Smith’s parents recognised their son and woke Smith up to tell him

Later that evening Smith contacted Bailieboro Garda Station and identified himself as the suspect on the programme. He said he had no recollection of the event.

Michael Bowman SC, defending, said the accused had travelled with a number of his work colleagues to an event in Dublin on the night and he had no recollection of the incident.

Counsel said Smith has since become a lifelong member of the Pioneer Association.

The woman who was present in court gave evidence that Smith was not drunk and knew exactly what he was doing.

Judge Patrick McCartan told Smith that his actions were “sinister in the extreme” but accepted he surrendered himself “when he knew the game was up”.

He acknowledged that Smith was a man of impeccable character and said it was usually his view that “when people make mistakes they should be allowed at least one chance, if the circumstances of the case allow it”.

“But what you did was very calculated and it had significant traumatic impact for a young woman who was using the facilities which she is entitled to do without fear of attack,” Judge McCartan said to Smith.

Mr Bowman said his client had brought it to his attention that he could be seen on CCTV going back into McDonalds after the assault.

Mr Bowman asked that the court take some time to consider this as he said the State had also been unaware of this fact.

“He appears to walk past the victim and leaves again. This strikes me as unusual,” counsel submitted.

“Unusual and perhaps worrying,” Judge McCartan said before he added that it was “a most difficult case”.

The judge said the fact that Smith claimed he was so drunk he had no recollection of what he did was not consistent with the evidence.

“He was able to pick his location, lurk in their for several minutes and pick his victim....these are not the actions of someone so drunk they do not know what they are about,” Judge McCartan said.

The judge acknowledged that Smith had €10,000 in court for the victim and that he has taken “an oath not to drink again”.

He said he was adjourning the case for a probation report because he was concerned about Smith's “propensity to do it again”.

“I am now intrigued by the suggestion that he returned to the area,” he said before remanding Smith on continuing bail to July 29 next.

Gda Murray said the woman went to get food on her way home from a night out.

While her friend ordered food at the counter, the complainant went to the ladies toilet.  The toilets were quiet so she assumed she was in there alone, however Smith, who is an operations manager for a construction company, had entered 13 minutes previously.

She locked the toilet door from the inside but as she opened the bolt on the door to leave, it was forced open by Smith. He grabbed her by her left arm and tried to move the bottom of her dress up with his hand.

In a victim impact statement read to the court, Mr Finnegan said the woman now suffered from panic attacks and did not feel safe in the presence of any man. The attack resulted in her marriage breaking down in 2015.

Mr Bowman said Smith started drinking early in the evening and lost his two friends before making his way to Grafton Street.

He said his client had made an offer of €10,000 in compensation to the woman which she was willing to accept.

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