Sunday 17 December 2017

Sex offender sentenced to three and a half years for sexually assaulting teen girl (15)

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

Sonya McLean

A convicted sex offender who tried to drag a 15-year-old girl into a cul-de-sac after telling her he wanted her and her body has been sentenced to three and half years.

David Radford (19) was arrested after gardaí nominated him as a suspect having viewed CCTV footage from the area.

He could be seen following the girl from her Luas stop before he approached her asking directions to a main road.

Radford denied the allegation in interviews with gardaí but was re-arrested in January 2015, two months after the attack, when his DNA was found.

His 15 previous convictions include three for sexual assaulting women in similar random attacks, dating back to April 2010 when Radford was 14 years old.

Radford of Butterfield Avenue, Rathfarnham, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to sexual assault of a child in a Dublin suburb on November 12, 2014.

Garda Michael Noctor told Anne Rowland BL, prosecuting that the teenager noticed that Radford had his hand down the front of his pants as he walked alongside her when she was on her way home that evening.

He asked her did she have a boyfriend before he grabbed her from behind and pushed her towards a cul-de-sac.

She was screaming at him, telling him to get off her and she eventually managed to get away.

Gda Noctor said she ran for “quite a bit” before she assured herself that Radford was not following her. A friend whom she happened to meet, brought her home and gardaí were alerted.

The teenager was able to give gardaí a good description of her attacker.

Ms Rowland read from the victim impact report in which the teenager stated that she had nightmares every night since the attack and woke up screaming for her mother, “just as I screamed for her that night”.

She said she didn't want to sleep because she could only see Radford's face. She was petrified on the night of the attack that she would never get away from him.

She said she lost herself after the attack and wanted to find herself again. She felt numb, life was a blur and she thought she would never be the same person again. She struggled to connect to people “in good faith”.

She said she felt “cut to the bone” and believed it would never be undone, but added that through her family's “loving support” she had found ways to cope.

Judge Martin Nolan noted that Radford claimed to have no memory of the attack because he was on headshop drugs and tablets but the judge said this fact “does not lessen his culpability”.

He said the impact the attack had on the victim was “pretty reasonable and to be expected”.

The judge accepted that Radford has expressed remorse but said he had history of offending in a similar way. Judge Nolan suspended the last 12 months of the three and half year sentence on strict conditions.

Kieran Kelly BL, defending said his client wished to apologise for his action and said Radford claimed he had no memory of the assault.

Counsel accepted that Radford had a propensity to commit this type of crime.

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