Man on party drug sexually assaulted three women in 90 minutes

Ryan Lee Thomas (25), a former financier, jailed for 2½ years over Dublin city attacks

A former financier who sexually assaulted three women in Dublin city centre while high on a party drug has been jailed for two and half years. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh.

A former financier who sexually assaulted three women in Dublin city centre while high on a party drug has been jailed for two and half years. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh.

 

A former financier who sexually assaulted three women in Dublin city centre while high on a party drug has been jailed for two and half years.

Ryan Lee Thomas (25) was under the influence of GBL, a controlled drug he bought online, when the separate incidents happened over a 90 minute period on December 30th, 2016.

Thomas, of Albert College Grove, Glasnevin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to three counts of sexually assaulting three women in the city centre and two counts of possessing a controlled drug.

A Welsh man who lived in Australia for some time, Thomas has 10 previous convictions in Melbourne, Australia for sexual offending while under the influence of the same drug, the court heard.

Garda John Carroll told Maddie Grant BL, prosecuting, at a sentence hearing earlier this month, that Thomas was at a house party in Lower Gardiner Street on the evening in question when he approached a young woman and told her: “You’re f***ing beautiful”.

Followed

He then hugged her and tried to kiss her, before she pushed him away. Thomas then followed the woman into a bedroom, grabbed her buttocks and breast and thrust himself against her, telling her: “You’re coming home with me tonight”.

The woman pushed him away and Thomas was asked to leave the party.

Shortly afterwards, at 10.55pm, a 19-year-old woman was walking along Gardiner Street Lower when Thomas appeared in front of her and grabbed her breasts. As she tried to run away from him, he grabbed her buttocks and followed her to an apartment building door.

She screamed and he told her to “shut the f**k up” before a passing delivery man intervened and Thomas fled the scene.

Gardaí­ were called to the scene and the woman agreed to go with them in a car to see if they could identify the assailant. They then spotted Thomas on O’Connell Street with his arms around another woman.

The third victim, who was in court for the hearing, told gardaí­ she was in town with her boyfriend. When her boyfriend went to buy cigarettes, the woman was approached by Thomas, who asked her for a light and then her for a hug, adding “It’s Christmas”.

He then leaned in to hug her before grabbing her vagina and buttocks. The woman fought him off and tried to walk away, but Thomas followed her. He was arrested by gardaí­ who arrived on the scene shortly afterwards.

Depression

In a victim impact statement which she read out in court, the woman said she had been sexually abused as a child and the attack by Thomas brought it all back. The woman cried as she described how she suffered from depression and was withdrawn after the attack.

She said it negatively impacted her relationship with her boyfriend and she now found it extremely hard to trust people.

“I own my body. How dare you?” she said to Thomas.

Victim impact statements from the two other women were handed in to court but not read out.

When questioned by gardaí­, Thomas made some admissions to possessing GBL but said he could not remember the events of that night. He told them he ordered the drug online from a Lithuanian company for about €90, although it later emerged the drugs came from the Netherlands.

The 10 previous convictions in Australia relate to two incidents involving the sexual assault and indecent assault of women in 2014, the court heard.

Defence barrister, Cathal McGreal BL, said his client took full responsibility for his actions and wished to apologise to each of his victims. He said Thomas had been in custody since the night of the attacks and knew he was facing a custodial sentence.

Judge Karen O’Connor accepted that Thomas had apologised to all of the victims and had a good history of employment.

She said these were women going about their normal business when all three were violated over an hour and half. She noted that Thomas had continued to use the drug even though it had led to similar convictions in Australia.