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Prisoner denies sex assault on woman officer

A PRISONER accused of sexually assaulting a female prisoner officer has opted for trial.

John Douglas (29) is denying that he groped the officer and pinned her against a cell door during the alleged incident on a landing in the prison.

Douglas is alleged to have carried out the assault shortly after he received a prison sentence in July last year.

At Dublin district court, Judge Michael Walsh adjourned the matter for six weeks for the service of the book of evidence.

Douglas, of O'Devaney Gardens, in the south inner city, is charged with sexually assaulting the officer in prison on August 26, 2012.

Defence solicitor Kelly Breen told the court that Douglas has a right of election on the charge – meaning he can choose to have the matter dealt with in the district court or opt for trial in the circuit court.

BREAST

When Judge Walsh put the allegation to Douglas he said he wanted the matter dealt with by "judge and jury" in the circuit court.

On the allegation, Garda Finbarr Brennan previously said that Douglas was an inmate at the time of the incident.

Garda Brennan alleged that Douglas approached the officer at 7pm and pushed her against a cell door. It is alleged that he then placed one hand on her hip, the other on her breast, latched on to her breast and pushed her against the cell door before she pushed him off.

A district court judge previously accepted jurisdiction of the case but Ms Breen said Douglas wished for the matter to proceed to the circuit court.

A State solicitor asked for six weeks to prepare the book of evidence.

Judge Walsh adjourned the matter to a date in July for the service of the book of evidence.

hnews@herald.ie


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