Health and safety officer jailed for six months for groping woman in Temple Bar

Man who grabbed woman’s genitals caught after victim takes photograph of him

Judge Brian O’Shea praised the ‘great bravery and fortitude’ of a woman who took a photograph of her attacker.

Judge Brian O’Shea praised the ‘great bravery and fortitude’ of a woman who took a photograph of her attacker.

 

A health and safety officer, who put his hand under a woman’s skirt and forcibly groped her as she walked through Temple Bar, has been jailed for six months.

Bryan Doherty (36), from Co Mayo but who has an address at Ashington Close, Navan Road, Dublin, followed the woman before he put his hand under her skirt, grabbed her forcibly and then walked away. He was identified from pictures taken by the woman immediately after the attack.

He had apologised and pleaded guilty at Dublin District Court to sexually assaulting her at Cope Street at about 7.30pm on June 22nd last.

He was remanded in custody on Friday by Judge Brian O’Shea who wanted to watch the CCTV evidence and read the statements prior to sentencing.

On Monday, Judge O’Shea praised the woman for her “great bravery and fortitude” for taking a photo of her attacker, which was a valuable piece of evidence.

He also noted Doherty had not made admissions in his Garda interview but had claimed he slapped the woman on her behind after he mistakenly thought he knew her from school. He had also denied putting his hand underneath her skirt and claimed she was wearing trousers, when he was questioned.

The judge said he could impose a sentence of one year. He noted the early guilty plea but added that he was “struggling to add significant weight to the apology”. He also noted the man had no prior convictions for anything of this nature and described it as out of character.

Judge O’Shea heard Doherty was identified from the photos by a previous employer who assisted gardaí in their inquiries. gardaí also obtained video evidence from the area and the footage captured the entire incident.

The victim was present for the hearing but not required to give evidence. She provided the court with a victim impact statement, in which she recalled Doherty had “forcibly grabbed” her. In her statement, she said that he grabbed her buttocks after he reached underneath her skirt.

Afterwards she was “continually looking over my shoulder” and had experienced moments of anxiety and panic. It had impacted on her day-to-day life and relationships and she felt “violated, vulnerable and angry”, the court was told. The court heard Doherty had six prior convictions for motoring offences.

Defence solicitor Brian Keenan said he was instructed to convey his client’s sincerest apology and it had been “a moment of madness”. Doherty could not remember the incident because he had a lot of drink taken.

The defence solicitor said Doherty had an alcohol addiction but has been attending counselling.