Broadband salesman jailed for sex assault on woman with disabilities

Man given seven-month prison term for attack on ‘vulnerable citizen’ in Co Clare

A judge has jailed a door-to-door broadband salesman for seven months for carrying out a sexual assault on a woman with disabilities in her own home.

At Ennis District Court, Judge Patrick Durcan said that the salesman, who is in his 20s, had "sexually assaulted and violated this vulnerable citizen in the most appalling manner".

The man had pleaded guilty to the sexual assault of the woman, who is in her 50s, at her home in Co Clare on September 5th last.

Imposing the seven-month prison term, Judge Durcan said that “this court is sending out a message that it won’t tolerate, and our society won’t tolerate, the abuse of citizens – male or female – by third parties – and particularly those who take advantage”.


The judge said the man accepted he put his arms around the woman, hugged her and rubbed her back, but denied putting his hand down her trousers outside her underwear.

It was not an excuse to say “I don’t know what came over me”, added Judge Durcan, who who imposed reporting restrictions preventing identification in the case.

Victim impact statement

In her victim impact statement, the woman – who sometimes uses a walking aid and a wheelchair – said: “I have always kept my front door unlocked . . . I no longer feel secure in my own home. Things will never be the same again . . . I have only now started to heal on the inside.”

A solicitor for the man said that his client had not been aware of the woman’s vulnerability in relation to her disability.

He said: “My client admitted culpability for the inappropriate behaviour he used in trying to clinch a sale. It was above and beyond what he should have done.”

The solicitor said that what occurred at the woman’s front room on the evening in question “makes no sense to me and now makes no sense to him. It hasn’t happened before with this man and it hasn’t happened since”.

He said that his client apologises unreservedly for what occurred, and added that his client had lost his job with the broadband supplier as a result of what happened.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times