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Man who sexually assaulted elderly mother's carer avoids jail

CourtsBy Sunday World
Consumed alcohol before making “very persistent unwanted sexual advances” towards the victim
Consumed alcohol before making “very persistent unwanted sexual advances” towards the victim

A man who sexually assaulted a 19-year-old agency worker caring for his elderly mother has been given a three and a half year suspended sentence.

Declan Jordan (46) told gardai he had been drinking before what was described by his defence counsel as a “once off” incident. Jordan was described as embarrassed and ashamed at his actions.

Jordan, of Maryfield Drive, Artane, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to sexual assault of the woman at his mother's home on June 8, 2015. He has no previous convictions.

Judge Melanie Greally noted that Jordan had consumed alcohol before making “very persistent unwanted sexual advances” towards the victim who made it clear she was not sexually interested in him.

She said the offence was a “deeply upsetting violation” of the victim and had severe consequences for her in terms of her career, family and relationships.

“The effect cannot be overstated, it was a severely upsetting and gross violation of a young woman making her way in the world,” said Judge Greally.

Judge Greally said Jordan had entered an early guilty plea and expressed remorse. She noted he was in a turbulent stage in his own life at the time. She said the conduct appeared to be out of character.

She said testimonials handed into court vouched for the role he had taken in caring for his late father and also in looking after his mother in an attentive fashion.

The judge said Jordan was attending counselling and addressing his problematic use of alcohol. She noted Jordan had been assessed to be at low risk of re-offending.

Judge Greally said the court must mark the serious nature of the sexual assault but must also balance it against the approach Jordan had taken to the prosecution. She said he had acknowledged his very serious wrongdoing and engaged in steps to address his risk factors.

She imposed a three and a half year sentence which she suspended in full and ordered him to undergo 18 months’ probation supervision. She said he should continue to attend with One In Four or a similar organisation until they deemed it no longer necessary.

Judge Greally said he should continue to participate in offence focused work and attend the Stanhope Centre in relation to alcohol.

Defence counsel, Justin McQuade, submitted that Jordan had paid €1,800 towards the economic loss suffered by the victim who no longer worked for the agency.

Judge Greally said she had taken this into account but said that it was not a critical element of sentencing. She said the main factors were his lack of previous convictions and the manner in which he had addressed the prosecution.

At the original sentence hearing in June Garda Gillian Ryan told Fiona Murphy BL, prosecuting, that the woman was finishing up work at the house and was alone washing a few items in the sink when Jordan came into the kitchen.

He told her she was looking well and asked her to dance. He put his hands around her waist and she told him to stop. He kissed her, putting his tongue in her mouth, and she again told him to stop.

She was afraid he would become aggressive as he started opening his trousers. He tried to get her hand into his trousers but she resisted and he put her hand over his penis outside his clothes.

The young woman said “sorry I can't”, still afraid he would get aggressive. He tried to kiss her again as she backed out but she moved her head. She got out of the house and told a friend in a car outside what had happened.

She contacted the company she was working for and went to gardai the next morning.

Jordan was interviewed by gardai and answered all questions. He told gardai he had been drinking and had pints in his local before coming home. He was living with his mother after his divorce.

He denied that the incident had happened as the woman said and claimed it was consensual. He did not accept the account she gave but said he regretted the incident.

Gda Ryan agreed with Mr McQuade that Jordan had not come to any further garda attention.

In a victim impact report submitted to the court the young woman outlined she had been at an economic loss as a result of being between jobs after the incident. She said that her relationship with family members had suffered and she dreaded going to work and meeting new people.

She said she would like to know why he thought it was alright to do that when she had said no. She said she felt sad that she was not seeing his mother any more.

Mr McQuade handed in testimonials on Jordan's behalf. He said his family were supportive but did not condone his actions and were horrified by them. He said Jordan had a good work history.

He said Jordan was embarrassed and ashamed at his actions and wished to apologise to the victim and to his own family. He described it as a once off incident.

Counsel handed in a psychological report and outlined that Jordan was taking steps to liaise with appropriate support groups. He submitted Jordan was at low risk of re-offending.

Mr McQuade noted that the victim had suffered an economic loss and said Jordan would be willing to address that as an “act of remorse.” He said he did not wish this to be seen the wrong way.