Jury takes less than half hour to find man not guilty of restaurant sex assault

January 26, 2018

A jury took less than half an hour to find a man not guilty of sexually assaulting a woman in a Letterkenny takeaway.

The 45-year-old married man was accused of grabbing the woman in her groin area.

The woman, from Derry, claimed the man had grabbed her between her legs and hurt her so much that she felt it the following day.

CCTV footage given in evidence to jury members at Letterkenny Circuit Court showed the man reaching out and touching the woman’s behind.

The woman then confronted the man and claimed that he told her “I’m going to do you.”

The man has pleaded not guilty to the single charge which allegedly took place on October 10th, 2015.

The woman gave evidence of how she was staying with her sister in Letterkenny on the night.

They had some drinks and at 2am, they decided to go to Letterkenny to have more drinks.

In the Downtown bar, the woman said she had a cocktail, a baby Guinness and a Gin and Tonic along with the two glasses of wine she had in her sister’s house earlier.

The woman told the court they then went for something to eat in a fast-food restaurant and then decided to leave there to go for a cigarette.

CCTV footage played to the court of the incident showed the woman leaving the restaurant and the man, aged 45, reaching out to touch the woman on her behind.

The woman recalled “I could feel a hand touch me between my legs, it’s embarrassing. I could feel a hand touching my crotch area. It was very quick. I was completely disgusted.

“It’s the last thing I expected on a night out. I felt violated and disgusted.”

The woman said she punched the man because she was annoyed and disgusted by his alleged actions.

She also claimed that the accused videod her with his phone and then told her “I’m going to do you.”

The accused man’s statement to Gardai was also read out in court.

He said he was in Letterkenny for a 40th birthday and had visited five bars and had an average of two drinks in each bar.

He said he had no direct recollection of the incident but does remember “ending up waking up at home with a very angry wife.”

Having viewed the CCTV footage later, he said he felt it did not reflect what the woman claimed in her statement had happened.

Barrister for the accused, Mr Damian Crawford put it to the woman that the contact between them was minimal.

The woman replied that all she could say was that she felt the man touch her and that she still felt it the next day.

Mr Crawford replied “That’s not what happened at all. He did not grab you forcefully by the crotch.”

The jury of eight men and three women returned a verdict of not guilty to Judge John Aylmer.



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