Dublin man followed group of women, knocked teen out and sexually assaulted her

Appeal: Anthony Ryan
Appeal: Anthony Ryan

A man who followed a group of women from a nightclub to a Dublin suburb and sexually assaulted one of them after knocking her out, has lost an appeal against sentence.

A man who followed a group of women from a nightclub to a Dublin suburb and sexually assaulted one of them after knocking her out, has lost an appeal against sentence.

Anthony Ryan (33), of Belcamp Avenue, Priorswood, Dublin 17 had pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm and the sexual assault of an 18-year-old woman in a Dublin suburb on July 13, 2012.

He was sentenced to five years imprisonment with the final 12 months suspended by Ms Justice Carmel Stewart on February 4 2014. He had also made of his own volition compensation of €1,000 to her.

Dismissing Ryan's appeal against sentence today, Mr Justice George Birmingham said four years in jail could not be said to have been too severe.

Mr Justice Birmingham said the injured party was aged 18 at the time and she had gone with two friends to a nightclub in the Coolock area.

In the nightclub, it was noted that the youngest of their party was in conversation with an older man, Ryan, and the two girls were keeping an eye on their friend, the judge said

When the dancing ended and the three women were outside, Ryan was seen in their vicinity which caused some anxiety and disquiet among them, he said.

They were driven from the area by a security guard to a Dublin suburb “not an insignificant distance away” and once there, Ryan was observed getting out of a taxi, the judge said.

Ryan had said he was trying to get to Coolock, according to the judge. A taxi had been hailed for him but he declined to get in.

He was then seen walking past the woman's house which caused further disquiet, the judge said. The gardaí were called but a search of the area for Ryan was unsuccessful.

Later, when he was seen standing at a car near the house, the injured party approached him and asked him to leave, the judge said.

Ryan ran at her, punched her in the face several times and the final punch caused her to fall and hit her head against a wall resulting in a loss of consciousness, Mr Justice Birmingham said.

When she regained consciousness she was lying on the ground with her legs apart. Ryan was on top of her with one arm over the chest area and the other arm inside her legs touching her vagina, the judge said.

The injured party was shouting for help and Ryan told her to shut up. Ryan thought he could hear somebody coming, fled the scene and was later arrested by gardaí, the judge said.

In the garda station a doctor assessed Ryan and found him to be unfit for interview such was his level of intoxication.

Mr Justice Birmingham said Ryan was a father of two children, one of whom has particular medical difficulties. He had 25 previous convictions, almost all of which were for road traffic matters, and he had a “solid” working record.

He had offered compensation of €1,000 to the injured party as a token of his remorse, the judge said, and the trial jduge approached the question of sentence with considerable care and referred to the question of remorse.

Mr Justice Birmingham said the final sentence of four years imprisonment could not be said to have been unduly severe.

“On the contrary,” a more severe sentence may not have been interfered with and there was no error in principle in the sentence actually imposed.

Accordingly, Mr Justice Birmingham, who sat with Mr Justice John Edwards and Mr Justice Alan Mahon, dismissed the appeal.

Ruaidhrí Giblin