Men jailed for sex as­sault on sleep­ing teen

At­tack in night­club was caught on CCTV

Irish Daily Mail - - News - By Aoife Nic Ardghail

TWO men have been jailed for sex­u­ally as­sault­ing a teenage woman while she was slumped on a couch in a pri­vate room of a Dublin night­club.

Joshua Sykes, 22, and Adam McCabe, 21, both claimed they had no mem­ory of the of­fence, but pointed them­selves out on CCTV footage that showed them sex­u­ally as­sault­ing the woman, who was 19 at the time.

In her vic­tim im­pact state­ment, read out by prose­cut­ing bar­ris­ter Geral­dine Small, the woman said that the in­ci­dent had led her to self-harm as she couldn’t stop think­ing about what hap­pened.

She said she didn’t get help for this be­cause she was ashamed. She added that she suf­fered panic at­tacks and anx­i­ety and didn’t drink or so­cialise any­more.

She told gar­daí her mem­ory was hazy, but she re­called kiss­ing a stranger and be­ing in a room with two males. Her next mem­ory is cry­ing in a room with gar­daí and feel­ing un­com­fort­able in her vagi­nal area.

Garda Shane McGuinn told the Cir­cuit Crim­i­nal Court that on the night in ques­tion, in July 2017, the woman had be­come sep­a­rated from her friends while on a night out and re­called feel­ing ‘giddy and light­headed’ af­ter a few drinks.

Garda McGuinn said a floor su­per­vi­sor at the Wright Venue in Swords, Co. Dublin, told gar­daí that a male had ap­proached him about a girl passed out in one of the pri­vate rooms. The su­per­vi­sor couldn’t get into the room as he had no key fob, but when he looked in he saw a fe­male and two males around her.

A night­club host­ess said when the floor su­per­vi­sor in­formed her about a girl who had passed out, she went straight to the room and saw the same woman now slumped on her side and a male

Judge said it was ‘a shock­ing case’

ly­ing on her. She said this male had his hand on the woman’s pri­vate parts.

The host­ess said this woman was ‘com­pletely asleep’ and barely woke up when she tried call­ing her and push­ing her shoul­ders. The wit­ness told gar­daí that the man who was with her ‘wasn’t mak­ing much sense’.

She de­scribed how an­other man had ap­proached her to claim that the in­ci­dent was harm­less, and she told him that it was ‘nowhere near okay’.

Ms Small read out a de­scrip­tion of the CCTV footage of the in­ci­dent which lasted just over five min­utes. This de­scribed Sykes putting the woman’s phone and money from her purse into his jeans pocket.

Sykes then sex­u­ally as­saulted the woman while she was un­re­spon­sive on the couch. Af­ter this McCabe per­formed oral sex on the woman, who re­mained asleep and un­re­spon­sive.

Garda McGuinn said that although McCabe ad­mit­ted he could be seen per­form­ing oral sex on the woman, he told gar­daí: ‘I don’t know where the sex­ual as­sault was though.’

He said the woman had been ‘well able to move around’ and had been kiss­ing him pre­vi­ously, but ac­cepted that she was ‘drunk’ in the footage.

On view­ing the CCTV, Sykes said the footage of him as­sault­ing the woman was ‘dis­gust­ing’.

McCabe, a fa­ther of one of Clusker Park, Na­van, Co. Meath, and Sykes, of Ardlo Manor, Mul­lagh, Co. Ca­van, both pleaded guilty to sex­u­ally as­sault­ing the woman on a date in July 2017.

Garda McGuinn agreed with bar­ris­ters for McCabe and Sykes that the men had been in­tox­i­cated on al­co­hol and drugs on the night.

Both men each have one pre­vi­ous con­vic­tion for mi­nor of­fences. They were at­tend­ing a friend’s 21st at the night­club.

Judge Cor­mac Quinn noted that the woman was ‘a vul­ner­a­ble per­son at the time who was preyed upon by both ac­cused’.

He took into ac­count the men’s young ages, their early guilty pleas and their co-op­er­a­tion with the Pro­ba­tion Ser­vice.

Judge Quinn fur­ther noted that McCabe had since been ‘vil­i­fied and os­tracised on so­cial me­dia’ and that Sykes had lost his job. He said it was a ‘shock­ing case’ and im­posed a three-year sen­tence, with the fi­nal 18 months sus­pended, on each man.

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