Soldier who admitted sex assault apologises to victim in court

A soldier with the 28th Battalion at Finner Camp has told a young woman in court of his remorse for stalking her and committing a brutal sex assault on her.

32 year old Adrian Gallagher followed the woman, who is in her late 20s, on her way home from a night club and pounced in the darkness in Bundoran, Co. Donegal.

Judge John O’Hagan, who placed Gallagher on the sex offenders’ register, said at Donegal Circuit Court that the young lady was “watched, stalked and set on in a very nasty way.”

At previous hearings, the court was told that Gallagher, from Dartry View, Kinlough, Co Leitrim admitted a sex assault on October 31, 2009. He was detected after gardai studied CCTV footage on the route towards the girl’s home from Paris nightclub where both had been earlier that night.

In a victim impact statement read by prosecution counsel Patricia McLaughlin the woman, now a student, said that for seven months after the attack she did not leave her house. She became depressed and was paranoid when people walked behind her.

Gallagher read a prepared statement from the witness box to the woman, who was in court this week with family.

He apologised to her, saying this was the worst thing he had ever done in his life.

Judge O’Hagan said he didn’t accept the attack was prompted by malarial medicine combined with alcohol, but by drink.

He remanded Gallagher on continuing bail for a Probation report to be presented next year.