One of RTE’s Finest, Convicted of Sexual Assault, and Jailed? O’Leidhin, a Lowlife?

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ASSAULT CASE 

Former RTE journalist who sexually assaulted woman while she was sleeping jailed for 15 months

  • 14:04, 26 Jul 2022
  • Updated: 14:29, 26 Jul 2022

A FORMER RTE journalist who sexually assaulted a woman while she was sleeping, has been jailed for 15 months.

Mícheal O’Leidhin, 38, of Sunnyside, Malahide Road, Artane was convicted last April of sexual assault at his former home in south Dublin in the early hours of the morning of May 13, 2018.

Mícheál Ó Leidhin, 38, has been jailed
Mícheál Ó Leidhin, 38, has been jailedCredit: Collins

O’Leidhin, a native of Ballinskelligs, Co Kerry,  was given an 18-month sentence with the final three months suspended on a number of conditions.

He was given a temporary stay on the sentence until next Monday when O’Leidhin must go to Mountjoy Prison.

Judge Karen O’Connor said that Ó Leidhin “has accepted the verdict but not the import of the verdict and this is relevant when asked to consider remorse”.

She said the complainant had given “compelling” evidence of the ongoing trauma she suffered in the wake of the assault.

The court had previously heard that the complainant,  who is legally entitled to anonymity, was out drinking in a Dublin pub with a female friend when they met the defendant who knew her friend.

The group went on to another pub and the woman and O’Leidhin were kissing.

At the end of the night, O’Leidhin asked the woman to go back to his flat in south Dublin and they got a taxi there.

In the flat they were kissing and O’Leidhin engaged in consensual sexual foreplay type activity.  O’Leidhin suggested they have penetrative sex.

The woman said no but left open the possibility that they could do this the next morning,

In his account to gardai, O’Leidhin said that he was unable to get an erection.

The woman then fell asleep and woke later to find Ó Leidhin on top of her and groping her breasts.

She said she told him to stop and get off her. He did stop and told her: “Sorry, I’m horny”.

The court heard that she was annoyed and told the defendant that she was clearly asleep. The woman said she went back to sleep.

Later that night O’Leidhin drove her home and over the following days she texted him expressing annoyance at what had happened.

They later met up and after speaking for an hour “they agreed to differ” about what had happened.

Almost a year later the woman went to gardai and made a complaint of sexual assault.

The court heard O’Leidhin has no other criminal convictions and has never come to garda attention.

He has been suspended from RTE and will have difficulties ever working in his chosen field again.

In her victim impact statement, the victim said the assault had left her feeling traumatised and depressed. She had attempted suicide and moved in with her parents to cope with the trauma and stress.

She said: “My whole life and sense of self have been destroyed.”

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