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Kilkenny man to be sentenced later for sexually assaulting sleeping woman

Kilkenny man Kevin Cradden will be sentenced next year after he pleaded guilty to one count of sexual assault at a house in Dublin in 2021

Jessica MageeSunday World

A man sexually assaulted a sleeping woman following a barbeque and later left the house naked from the waist down, a court has heard.

Kevin Cradden (33) of John’s Gate Apartments, Castlecomer Road, Kilkenny, will be sentenced next year after he pleaded guilty to one count of sexual assault at a house in Dublin on May 31, 2021.

At a hearing in Dublin Circuit Criminal Court today, Judge Orla Crowe adjourned the case for a probation report to assess whether Cradden poses a risk to society.

Judge Crowe remanded him on continuing bail for sentencing on May 23 next.

Garda Daniel Hanlon told Kieran Kelly BL, prosecuting, that Cradden attended a barbeque at the house and a lot of alcohol was consumed.

The court heard the injured party was a tenant at the house and that her ex-boyfriend, realising she had had a bit to drink, brought her to her bedroom and ensured she was tucked up in bed.

The woman later told gardaí that she woke up in the middle of the night and found someone in her bed, kissing her and with his hand down her underwear touching her vagina.

She said she thought it was her ex, but realised quickly that it was a different person and said, “Kevin?” to which the accused replied, “yes”.

The woman got up straight away and said she was very confused and not sure what was going on.

She met her housemate outside the door who was aware and concerned that Cradden had gone into the bedroom, the court heard.

The victim’s housemate then asked Cradden repeatedly to leave the house, and he eventually did so naked from the waist down.

The housemate then called Cradden back so he could get dressed.

Garda Hanlon said there was “absolutely no way” that the victim had led Cradden on or encouraged him in any way.

Cradden has no previous convictions and has not come to garda attention since this assault.

The woman wrote a victim impact statement which was read in silence by Judge Crowe.

Karl Moran BL, defending, said Cradden was “incredibly remorseful” and has no memory of the incident.

Mr Moran said his client had drunk six cans of Coors, that his friend gave him a further six cans, and that he also drank a cocktail and commented on how strong it was, saying he had double vision.

The court heard Cradden’s friend gave a statement to gardaí saying she asked him to leave the house two or three times, but he kept falling asleep.

“He was dumb drunk,” she told gardaí, describing how Cradden had left the house not realising he was unclothed.

“We called him back to the house because he was naked from the waist down and we didn’t want him flashing anybody,” she said.

Cradden’s friend said he then asked a number of times if he could stay on the couch and did not know what had been alleged against him.

Cradden wrote to his friend the following day on Facebook saying, “Hey how are you, what happened last night, did I leave my phone at your house, I don’t remember much.”

When his friend told him about the allegations, he sent a message saying, “I’m so sorry if I caused any harm, I’ve no recollection of the night or of coming back here,” the court heard.

Gda Hanlon accepted that the offence was completely out-of-character for Cradden, who has a strong work history and has not drunk alcohol since the night in question.

Letters from Cradden’s GP, mother, brother and sisters were presented to the court, with his family describing him as a loving, caring family member who had come home from abroad to care for his terminally-ill father.

Mr Moran said Cradden would be “eternally regretful, remorseful and apologetic” for the pain, anguish and trauma he has caused the injured party.

Cradden has brought shame and ignominy on himself, Mr Moran said, and his mental health has suffered significantly.

The court heard that Cradden had a series of jobs with software companies but gave up his job due to the weight of this case and has had temporary employment since.

Mr Moran said Cradden has actively engaged with counselling and had brought a sum of money to court as an expression of his remorse.

Judge Orla Crowe said it was not clear whether Cradden was attending counselling for anxiety caused by the prosecution or to deal with underlying problems with alcohol.

She said the victim had suffered “all sorts of foreseeable and unforeseeable consequences,” and adjourned sentencing in order to get a probation report.

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