Man’s sex attack on woman after ‘get to know you’ party
Anthony Ferguson apologised
January 28 2021 02:30 AM
A man got into a woman’s house and sexually assaulted her while she was asleep in bed after a get-to-know-your-neighbour party.
Anthony Ferguson appeared before Letterkenny Circuit Court in Co Donegal, where he was charged with sexual assault, burglary and threats to damage property.
Ferguson, a 26-year-old supermarket manager, pleaded guilty.
The court was told that Ferguson, with an address at Britannia Point, Colliers Wood, London, was an “outsider” who had arrived at the party on July 21, 2018.
The event, which was organised by locals, involved storytelling and other activities for children.
It also featured a ‘baravan’, which the court was told is similar to a mobile bar.
That evening, the victim was serving drinks at the baravan when Ferguson became rowdy and was asked to leave as the bar was closing.
The victim and her husband went back to their home nearby with some neighbours and had some more drinks with friends.
However, Ferguson gained entry to the house, was again rowdy and was asked to leave.
The woman and her husband went to sleep at around 2am, but the victim was awoken by a man in the bed who was touching her between her legs.
The man, Ferguson, said to her: “I have you now.”
She jumped up, screaming at her husband to get the man out of the house.
Her husband scuffled with him before throwing him out.
Ferguson began shouting to be allowed back in as he had left his phone and jacket inside.
Garda Maria Doherty said they had received a call that a man was banging on doors and that a woman had been sexually assaulted.
Ferguson’s barrister, Colm Smyth, said his client was extremely drunk on the night.
The court was told Ferguson has an issue with drugs and alcohol and has undergone two rehabilitation stints in addiction clinics.
Ferguson apologised to his victim, saying he was deeply sorry and ashamed for what he had done.
He added that he was shocked when gardaí said he had sexually assaulted a woman, saying he did not think he was capable of such a thing but could not remember anything from about 9pm that evening.
In a victim impact statement, the woman said she could not work for weeks after the attack and was going around her house locking doors all the time.
Her husband, who works abroad, could not travel as she was afraid to be left alone and they lost a major part of their earnings.
She said Ferguson should accept his wrongdoing and never again put anyone in a position like he had put her in.
Mr Smyth said his client’s father owned a number of supermarkets and could offer some compensation.
An offer of €20,000 was made, but Mr Smyth stressed that Ferguson would repay all the money back to his father.
Judge John Aylmer said it was appalling what the woman was subjected to on the night.
He noted that Ferguson had no previous convictions.
He said he will review all these circumstances and ad- journed the case until April for a final sentence.