Soldier jailed for sexual assault

A 32-year-old soldier from Finner Camp has been sent to prison for the sexual assault of a young woman after following her home from a nightclub in south Donegal.

A 32-year-old soldier from Finner Camp has been sent to prison for the sexual assault of a young woman after following her home from a nightclub in south Donegal.

A 32-year-old soldier from Finner Camp has been sent to prison for the sexual assault of a young woman after following her home from a nightclub in south Donegal.

Adrian Gallagher, with addresses at East Rock, Ballyshannnon and Kinlough, Co. Leitrim, had previously pleaded guilty to the offence which took place in October 2009. He appeared before Donegal Circuit Court today (Wednesday) for sentencing.

A previous court sitting was told that he then knocked her down and attacked her. When she screamed, hoping to alert a family member, he ran off.

His victim said she had not left her home for seven months after the attack. She had moved away from the area and still felt nervous in many social situations.

Judge John O’Hagan said Mr Gallagher had “brought shame on the Army”. The efforts he made to subdue his victim “make this a crime which is not tolerable”, he added.

There were a number of mitigating factors, however, he added.

“I believe that this case merits a custodial sentence - twelve months - and I’m suspending the last six months. That is as lenient as I can be in the circumstances.”

READ MORE IN THURSDAY’S DONEGAL DEMOCRAT.