C: Gript

Algerian living in temporary accommodation jailed for sexual assault

An Algerian man living in temporary accommodation in Cork has been jailed for sexually assaulting a woman who had been previously sexually abused as a child. After the attack, the women attempted to take her own life.

43-year-old Saadallah Ghoumrassi, was imprisoned for two years and three months for having twice sexually attacked a 21-year old woman in Cork City on the same night.

The court had previously heard that the young woman was walking home alone in the City when she was approached “in a calculated manner” by Ghoumrassi.

Detective Garda Kevin Hastings of the Divisional Protective Services Unit, said that the 21-year-old woman was in a vulnerable condition as she walked home after midnight on December 3, 2021.

“He approached her and attempted to interact with her. She rejected his conversation,” the Detective Garda told the court.

“She later fell on the ground and again he interacted with her. He picked her up and placed his hand in her groin area and her buttocks outside her clothes.

“He then escorted her up the road and into a dark laneway where he pinned her against the wall, kissed her and cupped her breast outside her clothing again.

“It is alleged that this second sexual assault ceased when light from a passing car lit up the laneway.

The woman had been approached in a calculated matter and sexually assaulted her on two occasions on her way home, the court heard. 

The accused was seen interacting with the young woman who walked away and then fell. He then picked her up off the ground, and escorted her down a dark laneway a further 500m from there.

“It is a calculated approach to a lone, vulnerable female. Gardaí believe he is a danger to members of the community,” Det Garda Hastings testified.

A victim impact statement read out on behalf of the young woman revealed that she attempted to take her own life within a week of the sexual attack on her.  She had previously been sexually abused as a child.

The young woman said that the sexual attack in December 2021 had impacted her mental health, saying: “No matter if you say no, what you wear or where you go, people take advantage.”

She said that she hoped making a complaint might help to prevent “another girl being sexually assaulted”.

Judge Dara Hayes said: “Women are entitled to go out socialising, they are entitled to drink, they are entitled to not be hassled by men and they are most certainly entitled not to be sexually assaulted. You saw a woman in a position of vulnerability and took advantage of her.”

A letter from Ghoumrassi was read out by a translator. “For what I have done I ask forgiveness. It was a mistake. What I have done was wrong. I wish you a healthy and bright future. Thank you very much if you accept my apology,” he wrote.

Judge Hayes imposed a sentence of two years and three months at the hearing on Monday, 15th July, 2023.

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