Two jailed for sex as­sault on woman slumped on couch

Irish Examiner - - News - Aoife Nic Ardghail

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

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

A host­ess at the night­club said the vic­tim was “com­pletely asleep” and barely woke up when she tried call­ing her and push­ing her shoul­ders. This wit­ness told gar­daí that the man who was with her wasn’t mak­ing much sense ei­ther.

Garda Shane McGuinn said though 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 prob­a­bly” in the footage.

On view­ing the CCTV, Sykes de­scribed the footage of him as­sault­ing the woman as “dis­gust­ing”.

He had de­nied tak­ing the woman’s phone and money, as shown in the CCTV, but later ad­mit­ted hav­ing the items and not be­ing able to ac­count for them.

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 19-yearold woman at The Wright Venue, Swords, Dublin on a date in July 2017.

Both men each have one pre­vi­ous con­vic­tion for mi­nor of­fences. The court heard they were at­tend­ing a friend’s 21st birth­day party at the night­club.

Judge Cor­mac Quinn said it was a “shock­ing case” and im­posed a three-year sen­tence, with the fi­nal 18 months sus­pended, on each man.

Garda McGuinn told Ger­ar­dine Small, prose­cut­ing, that the woman had be­come sep­a­rated from her friends while on a night out and re­called feel­ing “giddy and light­headed” af­ter a few drinks.

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.

In her vic­tim im­pact state­ment read out by Ms Small, the woman said that the in­ci­dent 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, be­cause it would make her cry.

Garda McGuinn agreed with bar­ris­ters for McCabe and Sykes that their clients had both en­tered early guilty pleas. He ac­cepted that the men had been in­tox­i­cated on al­co­hol and drugs on the night.

Judge Quinn noted that the woman was “a vul­ner­a­ble per­son at the time who was preyed upon by both ac­cused”.

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