Nevin victim says sex attack shattered dream of living in Ireland

Brazilian student describes Tinder date assault by ‘monster’ during sentencing hearing

Patrick Nevin:  remanded in custody for sentencing. File Photograph: Collins Courts

Patrick Nevin: remanded in custody for sentencing. File Photograph: Collins Courts

 

A Brazilian student attacked by a serial sex offender she met on Tinder has described how she initially blamed herself for what happened.

Patrick Nevin (37) was convicted last December of sexually assaulting a Brazilian student whom he had met for a first date, after they contacted each other via Tinder in July 2014.

Last June, he pleaded guilty to raping a second woman and sexually assaulting a third victim.

All three attacks took place within 11 days in July 2014 and all involved Nevin meeting the women on the online dating app Tinder and then picking them up at their home in his car.

Nevin, with former addresses of Mounttown, Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin and Castlebellingham, Co Louth, then drove the women to secluded locations and attacked them.

After a trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, a jury found him guilty of sexually assaulting the Brazilian woman on UCD campus, south Dublin on July 23rd, 2014. His lawyers told the court on Friday that he continues to deny the charge.

Nevin met the woman on Tinder and repeatedly asked her to meet with him. The language student said she was using Tinder to meet Irish people to practice speaking English and believed they were meeting to go for a coffee.

Instead, Nevin drove her to a secluded field on UCD campus. When she resisted a forcible attempt to kiss her, Nevin became aggressive and began cursing.

He put his hand up her dress and she struggled with him. He pulled down part of her dress exposing her breast and restrained her by holding her arm.

During the struggle, Nevin punched her on the back of head. The attack stopped when she managed to release her seatbelt and get out of the car.

Nevin drove off, leaving her in a distressed state .

A woman out walking her dogs came to her assistance and helped her get to the N11 and into a taxi.

Nevin was identified by gardaí after they checked the records of the car registration caught on UCD’s automatic number plate recognition system.

During the trial, the woman testified that she was in fear of her life and thought Nevin was going to rape her.

The victim, now aged 36, told the court on Friday it had been very hard for her to travel back to Ireland for the trial last year and to see her attacker. She said she felt “the same fear I felt that day when he became a monster in front of me”.

Becoming tearful at times, the woman said that when the jury returned its verdict, she felt a freedom she had not felt for a long time.

She said the attack forced her to change her plans to learn English and and she was only able to find work as a cleaner. She said she was working alone most of the time, so the only words she learned were related to cleaning.

Reading from her victim impact statement, in halting English, she said “Initially I blamed myself for everything that happened. I’m afraid of people’s judgment about how I am especially when it comes to men.”

She said she still dreams of returning to Ireland to live here. She said that Ireland taught her “to say please, sorry and thank you for everything” and she tells herself nowadays that most people are good.

“I know I lost money and self-confidence after what happened but I still think I will be able to live my dream of living here,” she said.

Nevin’s eight previous convictions include one for an assault on his then partner. He also has a conviction from 2012 for possession of a stun gun in suspicious circumstances.

Judge Cormac Quinn adjourned sentence to next Tuesday.

Nevin is due to be sentenced in another court next month for the rape offence and the other assault.