A man who sexually assaulted a sleeping woman and later left the house naked from the waist down has been jailed for three years.
Kevin Cradden (33), of John’s Gate Apartments, Castlecomer Road, Kilkenny, pleaded guilty to one count of sexual assault at a house in Dublin on May 31st, 2021.
The case had been adjourned last December after evidence was heard to allow for the preparation of a probation report to assess whether Cradden poses a risk to society.
Garda Daniel Hanlon told Kieran Kelly BL, prosecuting, at that hearing last December that Cradden attended a barbecue 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 she woke 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-boyfriend, but quickly realised 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 happening.
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 Orla Crowe.
On Tuesday, Judge Crowe said the woman had indicated in her victim impact statement that the offence had taken away “her sense of self-worth”. “She was distressed and had trust issues with everyone afterwards,” Judge Crowe continued.
The judge said the offence was “a considerable violation of her home, her personal space, and her body”.
She accepted evidence that Cradden has no previous convictions and has not come to Garda attention since this incident and he cannot explain what happened that night.
Judge Crowe said the offence warranted a headline sentence of four years before she reduced the prison sentence to three years in prison, having taken into account the mitigating factors.
The judge suspended the final 18 months on strict conditions including that he engage with the Probation Service for two years upon his release from prison.
Judge Crowe said Cradden must also “abstain from alcohol”. She said it was clear that Cradden had issues when he is “under the influence of alcohol”.
By Jessica Magee
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If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can call the national 24-hour Rape Crisis Helpline at 1800-77 8888, access text service and webchat options at drcc.ie/services/helpline/, or visit Rape Crisis Help.
In the case of an emergency, always dial 999/112.