Monday 22 October 2018

Rickshaw driver jailed for sexually assaulting hostel guest

(stock photo)
(stock photo)

Sonya McLean

A Brazilian rickshaw driver who sexually assaulted a fellow hostel guest while she was trying to gain access to her room has been jailed for 18 months.

Pedro Miguel Dos Santos E Silva (25) admitted to gardaí that he had attempted to take down the victim's jeans and had tried to get her to perform oral sex on him.

He pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to sexual assault at the Dublin city centre hostel on January 20, 2018. He was living in the hostel at the time and has been on remand in custody since.

Garda Karl Colgan told Genevieve Coonan BL, prosecuting, that gardaí were called by staff at the hostel after the victim, a student from the Netherlands, approached them. The staff had nominated Dos Santos E Silva as a suspect after they viewed CCTV footage and had already taken his passport from him.

Gda Colgan said the victim returned to the hostel from a night out with her friends at 2.45am and was trying to get into her room when Dos Santos E Silva approached her. He initially tried to help her get into her room but then took her key from her.

He later removed her hat and scarf before he went into the female toilets nearby. The victim then sat down on the floor outside her room before Dos Santos E Silva returned and tried to kiss her.

She turned her head away from him and he tried to remove her jeans. She resisted and he moved off again into the female toilets. He came back to the woman again, having removed his top before he tried to take off her jeans again.

Gda Colgan said Dos Santos E Silva then removed his tracksuit bottoms and exposed himself to the woman before putting his penis in her face. The assault came to an end when the victim became very distressed.

The man's bedroom was later searched by gardaí and a small amount of MDMA powder was found in his bag.

Gda Colgan agreed with Kieran Kelly BL, defending, that Dos Santos E Silva has no previous convictions from Ireland and had been living in the hostel for four days before the assault.

Counsel said his client was not proud of his actions on the night and said he wished to apologise for his actions.

Mr Kelly said Dos Santos E Silva, who is originally from Sao Paulo, was working as a rickshaw driver at the time of his arrest.

“He doesn't know why he did what he did,” counsel told Judge Martin Nolan before he added that his client wants to return to Brazil as soon as he can.

Judge Nolan said the incident “thankfully stopped before it became more serious” but that Dos Santos E Silva deserved a custodial sentence for what he did. He accepted evidence that he was “probably under the influence” of MDMA at the time.

The sentence of 18 months was backdated to when Dos Santos E Silva first went into custody in January this year.

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