Thursday 22 August 2019

Student tried to take own life after he was sexually abused by man after disco

Neil McBride: Said he accidentally touched student in the groin area
Neil McBride: Said he accidentally touched student in the groin area

Stephen Maguire

A student has revealed how he became an alcoholic and tried to take his own life by drinking bleach after he was sexually abused by a man after a disco.

The young man was sexually assaulted after losing his memory when he drank a can of Coke given to him by a man from whom he got a lift home.

The victim, who cannot be identified, claimed he was waiting for a taxi after a disco in Gaoth Dobhair, Co Donegal, when he was approached by Neil McBride.

McBride, now aged 48, asked the student if he wanted a lift home and in the car gave him a bottle of water to drink.

However, the accused drove to his own house and made the excuse that he needed to get something inside. He invited the student inside and gave him a can of Coke to drink.

The man said he became drowsy and went to the toilet where he phoned his mother.

The student said he lost his memory and the next thing he remembers is waking up with McBride fondling him.

The court was told that after the incident, the student's father and his brother arrived at McBride's house and took him away.

The next day the student, who was aged 19 at the time of the assault, attended the local NowDoc service and said he suspected he had been raped.

The NowDoc service contacted gardaí.

McBride appeared at Letterkenny Circuit Court on one charge of sexual assault on October 7, 2007, which he denied.

Retired Detective Garda Sgt Michael Carroll told the court that when he called the student's house the following day, the boy's father answered and told him that they would not be making any complaint. The victim later told the court that his father told him that if he made a complaint against McBride their family would be forced to leave the area.

However, a number of years later, on March 23, 2015, the former student made an official complaint and McBride was arrested.

McBride, of Derrybeg, Gaoth Dobhair, claimed it was the student who wanted to stay in his house and that when he went to put a quilt over him in a bedroom, he accidentally hit him in the groin area. He added that although he was gay he had no interest sexually in the student. The jury found McBride guilty of the single charge of sexual assault.

The court heard how the victim dropped out of college, is now a member of Alcoholics Anonymous and has tried to take his own life. He added that his relationship with his father is non-existent because of the incident.

Judge John Aylmer sentenced McBride to 22 months in prison but suspended the last five months.

Irish Independent

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