Suspended sentence for man who admitted sexual assault in Cork supermarket

14/12/2018 - 06:01

By Liam Heylin
A six-month jail sentence was suspended today in the case of a young man who admitted sexual assault arising out of the investigation of a man masturbating behind a woman in a queue in a supermarket in full view of the public.

Detective Garda Edmond O’Donoghue arrested Abel Etonga, 24, at a time when two similar incidents in different supermarkets in County Cork were under investigation.

The young man who was never in trouble before was remanded on bail and since then he pleaded guilty to charges of sexual assault on April 8 and October 3, 2017.

He was before Cork District Court for sentencing today.

Defence solicitor Shane Collins-Daly said the accused had complied with all directions given to him by the probation service.

Judge Olann Kelleher, said: “He has co-operated. The reports are very comprehensive. These are very serious offences.

They caused a lot of distress to people present. The nature of the offences was very upsetting.

The judge made it a condition of the suspension of the sentence that the accused would remain under the supervision of the probation service for the next 12 months.

Donal Daly solicitor previously stated that while the alleged incidents would have been extremely upsetting, there was no allegation of physical violence.

He said the defendant’s family would supervise him and get treatment for him.

The young man’s address at the time was Brooklodge Drive, Glanmire, but he later moved to stay with a relative in Midleton as he was required by bail to stay out of Glanmire.

His solicitor Donal Daly said the relative with whom Etonga was staying described the young man as ‘simple’ and that arrangements were being put in place for rehabilitation.

Detective Garda O’Donoghue said in the October 2017 incident a woman was in the queue at a supermarket in Cork when the accused masturbated himself to climax on to the back of her jeans.

She was unaware of anything occurring.

However, another woman in the queue then brought it to her attention that there was semen on the back of her jeans.

Detective Garda O'Donoghue said the April 2017 offence was very similar.