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Man jailed for six years for raping roommate in homeless shelter

A court was told the victim had neurological issues and was vulnerable.

Image: Laura Hutton/RollingNews.ie

Warning: Some readers may find details of this court report distressing.

A CONVICTED SEX offender who sexually assaulted his male roommate in a homeless shelter has been jailed for six years.

Dundalk native John Griffin (45) told gardaí that he knew his roommate wasn’t gay but ordered him to perform oral sex on him.

When the victim refused, Griffin said he would force him to do it. He then raped him over a bath.

Griffin later told gardaí that he felt horrible about his actions.

Griffin, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to two counts of sexual assault at a hostel in Dublin between 23 March and 1 April 2015.

Garda Joanna McCormack told James Dwyer BL, prosecuting, that in July 1991 Griffin received a sentence of five years at the Central Criminal Court for sexual offences. She said he has no other convictions and had not come to any adverse garda attention since his release.

Judge Martin Nolan said this was at the highest range of the offence, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years. He said it was an odious crime.

McCormack said the victim had neurological issues and was vulnerable. Judge Nolan said Griffin knew about the victim’s vulnerabilities.

The man was sharing a room with Griffin, who was of a physically much greater size than him. He told gardaí that he was very afraid of Griffin and was afraid to refuse his demands for sex.

In an earlier attack Griffin groped the victim while pleasuring himself. After the second, more serious, assault Griffin asked the victim if he had “liked it”. The victim said he told him he did because he was afraid to say no.

‘Going to kill him’

The incident became known to other men in the hostel and they wanted Griffin to leave. Griffin went to the hostel staff and told them he was gay and had “made a pass” on his roommate.

He told staff the other men from the hostel were “going to kill him”. He admitted he had done wrong and it was his fault and staff let him leave for his safety.

Griffin later claimed to gardaí that before carrying out the second assault he had asked the victim if he was gay. He said the victim said nothing in reply.

Luigi Rea BL, defending, said his client was a single man who lived from hostel to hostel and had an over-reliance on alcohol.

A victim impact report was handed in to the court but not read out. Before sentencing, Judge Nolan noted that Griffin had co-operated with gardai, admitted the offences and expressed remorse.

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Declan Brennan

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