A STRANORLAR man pleaded guilty to the sexual assault of a teenage girl.

Stephen Bradley (43) of Glebe Hollow, Stranorlar pleaded guilty to charges relating to an incident in April 2018.

Bradley followed a group of friends from Stranorlar to Ballybofey before sexually assaulting the young girl.

Bradley slid his hand all the way up her leg, squeezed the girl’s breast and then put his hand between her legs.

Bradley was arrested at his home in November 2018 and Gardaí conducted three interviews during his detention in the Garda Station.

A publication order had been in place in the case.

However, at Letterkenny District Court this week, following a submission by a member of the media, that order was lifted.

The victim, who was present in court, said she felt that it was better for Bradley to be named ‘for awareness’.

Barrister for Bradley, Mr Sean McGee BL, said his client wished to ‘unreservedly apologise to the victim’.

Bradley had €1,000 by way of compensation in court for the victim.

Mr McGee said: “He proffers this not as compensation but as some indication and sign of the sincerity of his apology for how he has wronged the young lady. He is an unemployed man and he can’t do any better. He has done what he can.”

Mr McGee said that Bradley had ‘reservations as to the precise extent of the offending behaviour’.

Mr McGee said: “He didn’t embark on a formal challenge so as not to put the young lady through the trauma of having to take to the stand.

“He pleaded guilty at a very early stage. He saved the State expense and court time and saved the victim the trauma of giving evidence and being cross-examined.”

A reference from Fr Patsy Arkinson, Parish Priest of St Mary’s, Sessiaghoneill, was submitted.

Mr McGee said: “Mr Bradley was open and forthright at all times. Alcohol was a significant factor in his lie and a central, profound factor in the offence. He has not come to negative attention since.”

The Probation Service measured Bradley at a ‘low risk’ of violent reoffending and a ‘medium risk’ of sexual reoffending.

Mr McGee said: “A central feature is a life of isolation.

“He has reduced his alcohol consumption considerably and that is an ongoing battle that he is addressing. There will be long-term consequences.

“The report provides a lot of hope, albeit certain assessments couldn’t be conducted.”

Judge Kelly thanked the victim for her detailed impact statement and said that the provision of the €1,000 by Bradley was not ‘by way of buying him out of trouble’.

Judge Kelly imposed a 12-month probation order on Bradley and directed that he attend all appointments and comply fully with all directions of the Probation Service. Bradley is to participate in an alcohol programme with the Probation Service.


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