sexual assault


    A serving member of an Garda Siochana, who denied sexually assaulting a woman after getting into her bed in a hotel room in the West of Ireland, dramatically changed his plea to guilty at the Circuit  Criminal Court in Castlebar this morning.

    The change of plea came just before a jury was about to hear closing submissions from the prosecution and defence.

    Just before 11.30 this morning, Judge Rory MacCabe was told by defence counsel Ken Fogarty that there had been a development and the accused could be re-arraigned.

    When the single count of sexual assault was put again to the accused, who cannot be named, he replied 'Guilty'.

    Judge MacCabe, who said  the accused had "taken responsibility for his crime" then discharged the jury panel - thanking them for their service in what he said "had not been an easy trial".

    Mr. Fogarty told Judge MacCabe that the change of plea had 'significant implications' for his client.

    The accused was remanded to June 13 for sentencing.

  • A woman told the Circuit Criminal Court, sitting in Castlebar, yesterday that she was sexually assaulted while asleep by a man who got into bed beside her.

    The alleged victim told Judge Rory MacCabe and a jury that she was awakened from a deep sleep in an apartment at a West of Ireland hotel by a man who was molesting her.

    She then said that, as the beside locker light was turned on by her husband who had come into the room, her attacker (whom she named in court) got out of bed with his trousers down.

    The accused has pleaded not guilty to a single charge of sexual assault.

    He cannot be named for legal reasons.

    The court heard that the alleged victim was one of an 8-strong group, which included her husband, who travelled to a west of Ireland town for a charity event in July 2015.

    The trial is expected to last a number of days.