Sex attack on mum asleep with children

Sonya McLean

A man who sexually assaulted his fiancee's sister while she slept in a bed with her three-year-old daughter and seven-year-old son has been given a four-year suspended sentence.

The 41-year-old had been convicted of the charge following a trial at the Central Criminal Court last November.

He was acquitted on a charge of raping the woman that same night at his Kerry home.

He had pleaded not guilty to sexual assaulting and raping the now 36-year-old woman on January 24, 2010. He has no previous convictions. During the trial the jury heard that the man and his fiancee were due to be married two months after the incident.

He told his fiancee what happened that night but claimed he had the victim's approval. The couple later married.


The Co Kerry woman told Caroline Biggs , prosecuting, during the trial that she had initially thought it was her partner who was touching her that night.

"I opened up my eyes, looked up and realised where I was. I looked again and saw it was (the accused)," the victim told Ms Biggs. She said she shouted at him to stop then he jumped up and she jumped up.

He ran out of the room and she followed him and slapped him on the face.

She had been lying in bed beside her three-year-old daughter at the time while her seven-year-old son was sleeping at the top of the bed.

The woman did not accept a suggestion from Anthony Sammon, defending, that his client did not put his penis inside her.

She did not accept that she had told her father, at a family meeting later that month, that she had had no need to go to the doctor after the assault because "it did not go that far".

She denied that when her father asked her if she had taken the morning-after pill, she had told him there was no need to because "he didn't put it in".


She accepted that her sister and the accused got married and that her sister was at the trial to support her now husband.

The victim said she was really angry when she later heard that her sister did not believe her and the accused had moved back in with her.

Garda Paul Browne told Ms Biggs that the man told gardai during interview that he digitally penetrated the woman because she was consenting to it.

The man told gardai it was "questionable" as to whether the woman had been sleeping and claimed that she had "signalled her approval by her actions".

Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan sentenced the man to four years, which he suspended in full. He placed the man on the sex offenders' register for five years.