A man who sexually assaulted a woman who was attending an open air music event in Athy, Co Kildare with her young children has been given an 18-month suspended jail sentence.
Raymond McGarry (38) pleaded guilty to a single count of sexually assaulting his victim while she attended a “Buskathon” in Emily Square, Athy on the evening of February 9th, 2018 with her children ranging in age from six to 17.
A sitting of Naas Circuit Criminal Court heard McGarry, a tyre fitter from Alpine Heights, Clondalkin, Co Dublin was pestering the woman and her children as they were listening to a performance.
Garda Joseph McElhinney said at one stage McGarry attempted to kiss the woman on the cheek and as she pulled away he put his hand between her legs and touched her in her private area.
Garda McElhinney said McGarry became very agitated and abusive after gardaí . He claimed the accused was heavily intoxicated and insisted that he had been “only messing and only having the craic”.
Garda McElhinney said he understood that McGarry, who had travelled to Athy to attend the Cuan Mhuire centre for treatment for his alcohol addiction, had consumed between eight and 12 drinks earlier that day.
The court heard that the accused entered a guilty plea when he was arraigned last July.
In a victim impact statement, the woman said she had to attend weekly counselling sessions for six months after the incident because she was “shook up”.
Sentencing McGarry to 18 months in prison, Judge Patrick Quinn said the accused had committed a serious offence and noted he had nine previous convictions.
However, the judge acknowledged that McGarry was full of contrition and had been sober since May 2018.
Judge Quinn said he would suspend the sentence for three years on condition that McGarry placed himself under the supervision of the Probation Service and remained drug and alcohol free .