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Homeless man who attempted to rape young woman before handing himself in jailed for three years

Victim traumatised after being assaulted walking home alone at night

Oliver Kane targeted his victim on the street.

Alan Sherry

This man tried to rape a young woman walking home at night before handing himself in to gardaí.

Oliver Kane (41), of no fixed abode but originally from Ardee, Co. Louth, was jailed for three years last week after pleading guilty at the Central Criminal Court to attempted rape of the now 21-year-old in Ardee on November 16, 2020.

Kane told gardaí when he saw his victim walking past he decided: “I am going to run towards her and get as close as I can”.

He said he intended to get her into a side area to rape her but the brave woman fought him off and managed to escape.

After the incident Kane handed himself into Ardee Garda Station to admit what he had done.

In interviews with gardaí, Kane, who was homeless at the time, said: “If you were homeless and wanted a shag, you wouldn’t care where it came from.”

Sources in Ardee said Kane had no history of similar attacks and was not known as a troublemaker before the attack but did have mental health difficulties.

His victim asked that Kane be named and said in a victim impact statement that the attack changed her life.

“He attempted to rape me and violate me. I was strong enough to escape but it has still affected my mental health,” the woman said.

She said she struggled to sleep and suffered from constant nightmares. She also had to take time off work and started counselling last Christmas after initially thinking she could get through it on her own. She has since been treated for depression.

She said the worst part of the incident was seeing her mother upset.

“No human being should be violated and taken advantage of and never feel unsafe,” the woman concluded.

Kane had one previous conviction for a public order offence.

His defence counsel, Michael Bowman SC, said his client was aware of “the behaviour that brought him here and the distress that he has brought on the complainant”.

Mr Justice Paul Coffey sentenced Kane to four years with the final year suspended on strict conditions, including that he engages with his local mental health service for three years upon his release from prison.

He also registered him as a sex offender and imposed a three-year post-release supervision order, during which time Kane must engage with the Probation Service.

The judge said Kane had embarked upon the crime “opportunistically” in “shocking circumstances” during which the woman was “attacked from behind while walking home late at night”.

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