A FORMER babysitter has been awarded €50,000 in damages against a man who sexually assaulted her while she looked after his children.
The woman was only 15 at the time of the incident on December 9, 2006.
Counsel for the woman told the court that she was babysitting for David Durkan, of Summerhill Road, Trim, Co Meath, and his partner.
Durkan came home alone from the pub at around 2.30am and subjected the teenager to the sexual assault.
The court heard she had intended staying overnight at the house.
The girl told the court that she had fallen asleep and woke to find Durkan kissing her on the neck. He then started taking her clothes off.
She fought him off and tried to run out of the door, but he prevented her.
"I eventually got out and hid under the next door neighbour's car," she said.
The court heard that Durkan was prosecuted, and in 2009 pleaded guilty to the assault in Trim Circuit Court.
The woman, who is now 24, said the incident had seriously frightened her.
Medical reports showed she was still affected by the incident and had a distrust of men.
She later left Ireland and travelled around Australia, only returning to last month.
Awarding her €50,000 against Durkan, High Court President Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns said this was a deeply disturbing incident.
Durkan did not appear in his defence yesterday, nor was he represented, in the civil action taken by the woman.
The then teenager was very frightened by what he had done, but she managed to get free of his clutches by "giving him a good kick", the judge said.
Durkan, who the judge said had drink taken and who had also watched a pornographic video before carrying out the assault, had abused a position of trust.