Two men are jailed for sex­u­ally as­sault­ing 19-year-old who fell asleep in night­club

Irish Independent - - News - Aoife Nic Ardghail

TWO men have been jailed for sex­u­ally as­sault­ing a teenager while she was asleep on a couch in a pri­vate room in the Wright Venue 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.

Garda Shane McGuinn said though McCabe ad­mit­ted he could be seen per­form­ing a sex act 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”.

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-year-old woman at the Wright Venue, Swords, Co Dublin, on a date in July 2017.

Each man had 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.

Gda McGuinn told the court that the woman had be­come sep­a­rated from 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.

In her vic­tim im­pact state­ment read out in court, the woman said that the in­ci­dent led her to self-harm as she couldn’t stop think­ing about what hap­pened.

She added that she suf­fered panic at­tacks and didn’t drink or so­cialise any­more, be­cause it would make her cry.

Gda 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.

Pa­trick McGrath SC, de­fend­ing McCabe, sub­mit­ted to Judge Quinn that his client’s “shame is ac­com­pa­nied by deep re­morse”.

He said the of­fence was “to­tally out of char­ac­ter” and a “once-off spon­ta­neous act” for McCabe.

Michael Bow­man SC, de­fend­ing Sykes, sub­mit­ted that his client has been de­scribed as car­ing, hard­work­ing and loyal by his for­mer part­ner. Mr Bow­man said Sykes had owned up and taken re­spon­si­bil­ity for the of­fence.

Judge 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, early guilty pleas and their co-op­er­a­tion with the Pro­ba­tion Ser­vice.

He fur­ther noted that McCabe had since been “vil­i­fied and os­tracised on so­cial me­dia” and that Sykes had lost his job.

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