Harwich/Ipswich: Jury finds man guilty of sex assault on woman in Waterfront penthouse
AN I.T. consultant who sexually assaulted a drunken woman who had gone to bed in a friend’s penthouse flat on the Waterfront in Ipswich has been jailed for 20 months.
David Mulligan, 36, had admitted kissing the woman’s breast but denied touching her between the legs but was found guilty by a jury of an offence of assault by penetration after a trial at Ipswich Crown Court last month.
Sentencing had been adjourned until yesterday for a pre-sentence report to be prepared by the probation service.
Jailing him for 20 months, Judge John Devaux said the victim of the attack had not done anything to lead him on and the seriousness of his actions was aggravated by her drunken state. “You simply took advantage of her,” said the judge.
Giving evidence during the trial Mulligan, a married father-of-three, of Main Road, Harwich, said he was drunk when he went into the room where the woman was in bed and claimed he had tried to rouse her because he wanted to go clubbing.
He accepted kissing the woman on the cheek and then lifting her vest top and bra and kissing her breast and said: “To this day I find it hard to understand why I did it – it is something I will have to live with for the rest of my life. I was drunk and chancing my arm.”
He said the woman had not said or done anything to bring him to his senses and he denied then going on to put his hand down her trousers and touching her intimately.
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The woman told the court she had been out with a friend in the town in April last year and during the evening had chatted to some men she knew in Isaacs on the Quay, including Mulligan, who she described as a “passing acquaintance”.
At the end of the evening the woman and her friend had gone back to a flat belonging to one of Mulligan’s friends, who was also known to the woman.
The woman, who was “worse the wear for drink”, was sick and it was decided that she and her friend would stay overnight at the flat.
She was helped into bed by her friend and the owner of the flat but not long afterwards Mulligan had gone into the room.
She said she had been terrified when Mulligan came into the room and started kissing her breast.
“I wanted to shout and scream but nothing came out. I was petrified,” she said.
The court heard that Mulligan had no previous convictions and the offences were “totally out of character”.
He was a rugby coach and raised money for charity and, in letters and references handed into the court, he was described as a “family man”.