A man who sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl in a car parked in a field and then dumped her semi-naked at the side of the road near her home has been jailed for six years.
The 21-year-old man pleaded guilty at Cork Circuit Criminal Court last month to sexually assaulting the girl, his former girlfriend, at a location in Cork on April 29th, 2014.
He was remanded in custody for sentence on Tuesday.
Imposing sentence, Judge Gerard O’Brien said the accused had limited appreciation of the seriousness of events until very late in the day even though he had pleaded guilty to the offence.
“He showed no remorse of substance until very late in the day. He has no insight into the effect on the victim,” said Judge O’Brien.
The judge said the victim had suffered from sleepless nights, breakdowns, nightmares, a fear of leaving home and she remained extremely traumatised following the attack.
Judge O’Brien noted the accused came from an ethnic grouping and while the higher courts had allowed this could be a mitigating factor in some offences, it did not apply in sexual violence cases.
Det Garda Caroline Keogh previously testified that the victim became hysterical after she was dragged unconscious naked from the waist from a car after the attack and left on the roadside.
The defendant’s car was clearly identified on CCTV and he was later identified and when arrested, he admitted that he tried to have sex with her but denied forcing her to have sex.
The teenager, who had been in a relationship with the accused for a short time, prepared a victim impact statement to be handed to the judge but she did not want it read out in court.
Defence counsel Alice Fawsett SC said there was drink present on the evening in question but her client did not bring this alcohol and he was not the one who plied her with drink before the assault.
Ms Fawsett said the accused had gathered €10,000 to compensate the victim, had spent the past month in custody and had instructed her to say he is "very sorry for what happened to her".
Judge O’Brien said were it not for the man’s guilty plea, he would have been looking at a 10-year term but he sentenced him to seven years with the last year suspended for a period of two years.