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Two and a half year prison sentence for Cavan man who sexually assaulted wedding guest

Mar 4, 2021 13:03 By News Northern Sound
Two and a half year prison sentence for Cavan man who sexually assaulted wedding guest Two and a half year prison sentence for Cavan man who sexually assaulted wedding guest
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A west Cavan man has been sentenced two and a half years in prison for sexually assaulting a woman in a hotel room in 2019.

A west Cavan man has been sentenced two and a half years in prison for sexually assaulting a woman in a hotel room in 2019.

Judge John Aylmer said the Court didn't accept the explanation that 42 year old Eoghan McGovern, of Tonlagee, Bawnboy, County Cavan - who had previously pleaded guilty to the charge of sexual assault - was "out of his mind" with drink.

The incident occurred in a local hotel in July 2019 when the victim had been attending a wedding at the venue earlier that day.

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She'd come across McGovern once earlier in the night in the hotel, and again when he was outside her bedroom window as she closed the curtains.

She fell asleep alone in her room and woke up to a man against her in the bed, with his arm around her, "prodding her with his penis".

At first she thought it might have been her partner but screamed and demanded the man leave immediately when she didn't recognise him.

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He claimed she'd brought him to the room, but left and exited the hotel through an emergency door.

Garda investigations concluded he entered via the window when his shoe print matched markings on the window sill outside.

The Court was told McGovern was intoxicated on the night in question, admitting to being told to leave the premises earlier in the night, but returning for cigarettes and another drink.

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He also told Gardaí he'd no recollection of the night but had no intention to have sex.

Reading her victim impact statement, the woman spoke of how she used to be "bubbly" and not afraid to talk to strangers.

What was a great day at a friend's wedding, has changed her in so many ways leading her to her now having difficulty sleeping because she fears it happening again, and being worried of strange men talking to her.

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Defence Counsel said McGovern felt extreme embarrassment and regret at what happened, that he cooperated fully and didn't intend to abuse or frighten anyone.

Judge John Aylmer said it was a very serious "sexual invasion" of a person that will leave a lasting impact.

He said he didn't accept that the events could be explained by excessive drinking, because he was sober enough to navigate the hotel, agile enough to get in through the window and to make an escape through an emergency exit after claiming he was invited back.

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Judge Aylmer added there was a "definite element of stalking" and premeditation, as he met her earlier that night.

He did consider that McGovern offered an early plea, that he was married with children and was in regular employment, and accepted that there was no sense of physical violence other than the sexual assault.

Eoghan McGovern was sentenced to three years in prison, with the final six months suspended, on the condition he engages with rehabilitation services on his release.

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