COURT

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.

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