A man who followed a woman into a toilet cubicle and sexually assaulted her has received a fully suspended sentence.

Kessy Ferraz (31) of Pearse Gardens, Sallynoggin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to sexual assault at Rochestown Lodge, Rochestown Ave, Dun Laoghaire, on May 14, 2018.

Judge Martin Nolan sentenced him to 18 months imprisonment, but suspended the entirety of the sentence on condition he keep the peace and be of good behaviour for an 18 month period.

Judge Nolan also ordered that he raise €2,000 in compensation, which he said can be handed over to the victim by gardaí if she agrees.

Garda Brian Davoren told Eoin Lawlor BL, prosecuting, said that on the date in question, Ferraz was looking for toilet rolls for the gents toilet at the address and the victim offered to get him some from the ladies’ bathroom.

Ferraz followed the woman into a cubicle in the ladies’ bathroom and began to kiss her neck while she told him to stop. He grabbed her hand, said “see what you do to me” and tried to pull her hand down to his genitals.

The woman pulled away saying it was not funny and managed to get out of the cubicle. The accused followed her, tried to kiss her and put his hands on her waist.

Grainne O’Neill BL, defending, said her client wished to apologise. She said he did not know at the time that what he did was wrong, unwelcome and inappropriate.

Ms O’Neill said that people say her client is a “touchy-feely” person who would come up behind people and hug them. She said he has taken steps to make sure that what he did to the victim never happens again.

She said her client came to Ireland as an unaccompanied minor from Angola when he was aged 16 and became an Irish citizen in 2009. She said he has had no contact with his family in Angola since coming to Ireland, but that he has recently taken steps to find them.

Ferraz has no previous convictions. He has worked as a chef and is married to a Polish woman who could not be present in court as she was attending with her friend who is undergoing chemotherapy.

Judge Nolan said this was an “unfortunate situation” in which the accused breached the trust of the victim. He said that all sexual assaults were serious, but that this offence was at the lower end of the scale.

He said the mitigating factors in the case were Ferraz’s guilty plea, his co-operation, his expression of remorse, his lack of a criminal record and that he had had a “difficult path in life”. He said he thought it unlikely that the accused would re-offend.