Men jailed for sex assault on sleeping teen
Attack in nightclub was caught on CCTV
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.