Sex assault on Limerick man with intellectual disability on a bus

Donal O’Regan and David Hurley

Reporter:

Donal O’Regan and David Hurley

Kilmallock Court heard that the sexual assault occurred in the Dooradoyle area on January 19, 2017

Kilmallock Court heard that the sexual assault occurred in the Dooradoyle area on January 19, 2017

A PAKISTANI man pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a middle-aged man with an intellectual disability on a bus in Limerick.

Mohammad Sarwar, aged 43, of no fixed abode, is accused of inappropriately touching the Limerick man’s genitals for a number of minutes during the journey. Kilmallock Court heard that the sexual assault occurred in the Dooradoyle area on January 19, 2017.

Sergeant Donal Cronin said the State was objecting to the defendant being released on bail pending a sentencing hearing. He cited the nature and strength of evidence and the “likelihood of the defendant reoffending”.

Detective Garda Mick Dunne said he believed if Mr Sarwar was given bail he would commit “similar serious offences”.

Det Garda Dunne said Mr Sarwar has lived in Asylum Centres in Tralee, Foynes and Dublin and has come to garda attention in the past.

In May 2016, Mr Sarwar “inappropriately approached” two children in a playground in Foynes, said the detective.

“In December 2016, he inappropriately approached a woman in a shopping centre in Tralee.  In May / June  2017, he followed a female manager of an asylum centre from her workplace and made an unwanted approach.

“He was moved to another asylum centre and made another inappropriate approach to a woman at a bus stop. He asked her could he come home with her. She felt very uncomfortable. He was removed from the asylum centre system due to his behaviour to staff members,” said Det Garda Dunne.

Answering questions from Mr Sarwar’s solicitor, Sarah Ryan, Det Garda Dunne said no formal complaints were made to gardai relating to any of these incidents, and Mr Sarwar has no previous convictions.

Ms Ryan said if granted bail a friend of Mr Sarwar’s has agreed to let him live with him and his family in Dublin.

The male took the stand and said he has known Mr Sarwar for eight or nine years.

“He is a Muslim. I am a Hindu. We are friends,” he told Kilmallock Court.

Ms Ryan asked him if he was “fully aware” what Mr Sarwar is charged with.

“Yes. He said he hasn’t done anything wrong. He cried one day. He has stayed quite a few times with me,” said the man, who has a wife and three children aged 13, 11 and seven months.

“Do you have any concern about Mr Sarwar staying in your house?” asked Ms Ryan.

“No,” he said.  

Judge Marian O’Leary also asked him if he had, “Any difficulty in a man who allegedly inappropriately approaches women in your house?”

“No,” he replied.

Sgt Cronin reiterated the State’s objection to bail on the grounds of the risk of reoffending, pleading guilty to a serious charge and he would leave the jurisdiction.

Judge O’Leary granted bail “under very strict conditions”.

She ordered that €5,000 of an independent surety be lodged, Mr Sarwar must reside with the man in Dublin, sign on daily and commit no offences. Mr Sarwar was remanded in custody until the money is lodged.

He appeared before Limerick District Court this week and it was adjourned to next Tuesday, January 9 for a victim impact statement to be prepared.

Mr Sarwar was further remanded in custody with consent to bail.