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First photo of the teenager who dragged a woman into the bushes during a terrifying sexual assault

Doolan of St Finians Green, Lucan, Co. Dublin pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to aggravated sexual assault of the woman on November 16, 2022.

Joshua Doolan (19) “ganged” the woman off the road into bushes during the senseless attack in November 2022.

He was jailed yesterday for aggravated sexual assault.

The brave victim had told the court of the damaging effect the crime had had on her.

Sentencing Doolan on Friday, Judge Tony Hunt described this as a “very disturbing offence” which has had “profound and long-lasting effects” on the victim.

He had previously commented that the 43-year-old woman had been “cornered off the public road in the bushes” while walking, adding: “If it wasn’t for the ferocity of the fighting, who knows where we would be.”

Judge Hunt today said it was “particularly disturbing” that the victim “went about her business at a time and place that was familiar to her, where she had a right to feel safe and not engage in hypervigilant activity.”

She expressed the view that cases of this type suggest that “there is no place where a woman can necessarily feel safe.”

He went on to say that “you can think of other cases that demonstrate this with worse consequences” before noting the “horrible damage” caused to the victim.

Doolan of St Finians Green, Lucan, Co. Dublin pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to aggravated sexual assault of the woman on November 16, 2022.

The judge noted that Doolan was a “young man” facing custody for the first time. However, he said that Doolan had “ruined his own life” with his actions and will have to deal with the consequences even after his release, as “the stench of this will remain on him for the rest of his life.”

He noted mitigating features, including Doolan’s guilty plea, his age, his personal and medical circumstances, and his willingness to engage relevant services.

Joshua Doolan, 19, from St Finians Green, Lucan, Dublin, pictured at the Criminal Courts of Justice (CCJ) on Parkgate Street in Dublin

The judge said the crime was “committed intentionally” but not in the sense that it involved a “long period of premeditation.” He noted that Doolan and the victim were “complete strangers,” which he called an aggravating factor.

Judge Hunt handed Doolan a seven-year sentence with the final 18 months suspended under strict conditions. He ordered Doolan to have no direct or indirect contact with the victim and placed him under the supervision of Probation Services for three years after his release.

In her victim impact statement, the woman said the attack “irreversibly altered the course of my life” and spoke of how terrified she is to be in a courtroom so close to her perpetrator.

“My sense of security, freedom, my joy, my happiness are gone now… all because of one person’s desire for power, control and sex.”

Judge Hunt highlighted the victim’s “impressive and eloquent” testimony and “recommended her testimony to anyone who wants to understand how a crime of this type affects the injured party.”

At an earlier hearing, Shane Costelloe SC, prosecuting, was told by a local detective that the woman and Doolan were complete strangers.

One November afternoon, at 9:30 p.m., he was walking through a Dublin suburb and, due to the darkness of the night, had stayed on the main street.

During the walk, she noticed Doolan walking behind her and felt uncomfortable. She had been talking to her mother on her phone and returned her call to reassure her.

Doolan then approached her and she thought he was going to pass her, but instead he grabbed her and pushed her into some bushes and onto the ground.

The woman immediately started screaming very loudly, but Doolan stuck his fingers in her mouth and told her to “shut up.” He was completely on top of her and kept trying to hold on to the ground while he tried to pull down her leggings. He then sexually assaulted her.

The detective told Mr Costelloe that the woman later told gardaí, at which point she told herself she was “not going to let this happen” and resisted. Doolan was unable to restrain her due to the strength of her resistance.

She continued to kick and managed to shake him off while continuously screaming, “No, no, no.”

He managed to shake Doolan off of him completely and get to his knees. Then he ran away.

The detective said Doolan lost his glasses during the fight and the woman immediately recovered them. She also had a detailed description of her appearance, including her height, hairstyle, and the clothes she wore.

A member of the public was passing by and noticed Doolan walking suspiciously, as if trying to hide his face. He then saw the woman and came to her aid. The incident was immediately reported to gardaí.

The detective said door-to-door inquiries were carried out and gardaí recovered CCTV footage from a Dublin bus that had been in the area at the time after other cameras captured a person, who matched the woman’s description. , getting off a bus in a matter of minutes. before the attack.

Doolan’s glasses also allowed him to be identified, and gardaí discovered that they had a particular prescription and managed to locate the optician who had prescribed them.

Doolan was arrested and interviewed, but nothing of “probative value” came out of the interviews. His home was searched and the clothing he was wearing that night was recovered, including a distinctive leather jacket.

Fiona Murphy SC, defending, said her client expressed “genuine remorse, shame and disgust at his appalling and criminal actions that night”.

She accepted that this was a serious crime and asked the court to take into account her client’s guilty plea as mitigation, as it prevented the woman from having to testify at trial.

Murphy said Doolan was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome when he was 11 and said it has had “an impact on how he fits into this world.”

The lawyer submitted several reports to the court, including letters from his parents and aunt.

He said Doolan has been receiving counseling since his arrest in an effort to understand why he committed the crime.

Murphy said Doolan has engaged “honestly and openly” with probation officers to carry out a risk assessment and has demonstrated an understanding of the harm he has caused the victim.