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Dublin: 3°C Sunday 27 September 2020

Church asks court for leniency as man pleads guilty to sexual assault

The man’s church said he is a changed man and an excellent Christian.

Ennis Courthouse
Ennis Courthouse

A SMALL CHURCH has called for leniency for one if its worshippers who pleaded guilty to the sexual assault of a 16-year-old boy.

At Ennis District Court today, the man’s church pleaded with Judge Patrick Durcan to show mercy to the man they describe as an “excellent Christian and an asset and blessing to the Church”.

In the case, the man pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting the youth on a date between September and December 2013 at an apartment in Lahinch.

Outlining the facts of the case, Inspector Tom Kennedy said that the youth was staying in the man’s apartment with a friend and found himself sharing a bed with the man.

Kennedy said that the teenager was awoken to find the accused had his hand on his penis and was holding it.

The inspector said that the youth jumped out of the bed and informed gardaí of the assault.

Kennedy said that the man was cooperative with gardaí and explained that his emotions overcame him and that it was the first time something like this had happened.The inspector added that the victim in the case didn’t wish to make a victim impact statement.

Durcan said that the matter could be resolved without criminalising the man and said that the matter could be struck out if the man pays €1,000 to the Court Discretionary Fund by July of this year.

Durcan said that he was taking into account the man’s plea of guilty, his remorse, having no previous convictions and cooperation with gardaí. He said that the €1,000 would “severely punish the man in the pocket”.

Cahir said that his client has got married recently and is heavily involved in his local Christian church. He added that his client apologises unreservedly to his victim.

In a letter to court read out by Cahir, the church said that it was fully aware of the details of the case.

It stated: “We are asking for leniency in the matter. This man has realised his mistake – he has expressed genuine remorse and regret for what happened and he has assured that it will never happen again.”

He has publicly confessed his actions to the church congregation and this has been personally humiliating for him before his family, friends and church community.What happened was totally out of character for him, we can only categorise the incident as a one off. This man is a changed man since he joined the church.”

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About the author:

Gordon Deegan

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