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Saturday 4 February 2023 Dublin: 9°C
# Courts
Man charged with sexual assault on sleeping woman in hotel room
The defence solicitor said that the accused was very drunk and tried to ‘take a chance’ of reawakening sexual activity

A MAN HAS been charged with sexually assaulting a woman in a Dublin hotel who was asleep after she had already withdrawn consent.

The incident allegedly happened after they agreed to cease sexual activity earlier, but he decided to “take a chance”, Dublin District Court heard.

Thomas Headon, 39, with an address at Pearse Street, Dublin 2, is accused of sexual assault on a date in 2013.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) directed the case could be dealt with at the district court level on a guilty plea.

However, after hearing a summary of the allegations, Judge Smyth refused jurisdiction and held he should send it to the Circuit Court, which has broader sentencing powers.

Outlining the evidence, Detective Sergeant Bryan Hunt said the accused and the complainant, then in her late 20s, met while socialising in Temple Bar.

They returned to a Dublin 4 hotel room and engaged in consensual sexual activity in the toilet area.

After about 20 minutes, they ceased and discussed stopping the activity, and he acknowledged that with her.

The court heard after they stopped, she fell asleep on a bed but later felt someone on top of her.

The court heard her tracksuit bottoms were removed, and she felt his erect penis.

Defence solicitor Dara Robinson decribed the case was almost one of a kind. He said they willingly engaged in a significant degree of sexual activity, and the woman withdrew consent in no uncertain terms.

The solicitor said Headon was very drunk and tried to “take a chance” of reawakening sexual activity. However, when she woke up, she made her feelings clear in no uncertain terms, and he absconded.

He was later interviewed and subsequently left the country due to a romantic pursuit and was out of the jurisdiction for a long time.

His passport was stolen, and he let the matter rest. 

Robinson said his client returned in August and was charged.

The solicitor asked the judge to note the informed view of the DPP, who had been fully appraised of the facts of the case.

He also submitted that it was on the lower end of the scale.

However, Judge Smyth, who described it as a very serious matter, refused jurisdiction.

The accused was remanded on continuing bail to appear again in December.

He is to be served with a book of evidence and returned for trial to the higher court.