Man who sexually assaulted woman outside a nightclub avoids jail term

by Gazette Reporter

By Brion Hoban

A man who sexually assaulted a woman in a nightclub has received a fully suspended sentence.

John Gossan (40) of Castlegrange Hill, Swords, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to sexual assault at Wright’s Cafe Bar, Malahide Road, Swords, on February 22, 2019.

Passing sentencing yesterday, Judge Martin Nolan said Gossan was in a “drunken state” in a public place when he grabbed the breasts and “nether area” of a young woman over her clothes.

Judge Nolan said this was a “short encounter” according to all parties. He said the accused had been at a dart’s competition, had been drinking throughout the day and claimed he has no memory of the offence.

He said it was obviously “a shameful act” to do this to a young lady. He described the offence as “a frightening act” which has effected the victim’s peace of mind.

Judge Nolan said this was near the lower end of the range of offending for offences of this kind because of the nature of the offence. He said there were no particular insidious or aggravating factors.

He said this was “atrocious behaviour” and no person should have to endure it. He said that drunkenness in the case is no excuse because “obviously he got himself drunk”.

Judge Nolan sentenced Gossan to one year imprisonment, but suspended the sentence on strict conditions including that he keep the peace and be of good behaviour for one year.

He also ordered that Gossan hand over €2,000 which he had in court to the prosecuting garda. He said that if the victim does not wish to receive this money, the garda can give it to an appropriate charity.

The court heard Gossan has a previous conviction for drug dealing for which he received a four year sentence in 2010. He had pleaded guilty to conspiring to possess €600,000 worth of cocaine with two other men in north Co Dublin on September 14, 2006.

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