District court hears testimony from victim of 2014 sexual assault

Galway Daily courts Man charged with possessing images of child sex abuse
credit: Robert Linsdell CC BY 2.0 'The Courthouse, Courthouse Square, Galway'

The victim of a sexual assault six years ago felt “totally betrayed” by defendant Michael Faherty, according to her testimony given in Galway District Court on Monday.

Faherty – formerly of Laurel Park in Newcastle – was a friend of hers.

Although they had known each other for four or five years and met up regularly to write songs and perform as musicians in Galway, their relationship had never been of a sexual nature.

On the night of April 15, 2014, the victim had been out drinking and remembered going back to his residence in Laurel Park.

The last thing she remembered was Faherty saying that he’d make a cup of tea, and then she woke up in the armchair in his kitchen after the assault.

She confronted him the next day, asking him “what have you done?” but he denied that the assault took place.

Gardaí were called out and stated in court that DNA testing showed his semen was present.

The 65-year-old now resides in Prestatyn, Denbighshire, in North Wales.

His wife and son travelled with him from the UK and were present in the courtroom to hear the charges – which also included various public order, trespass, and criminal damage charges from years ago that were never dealt with because the defendant resides outside of the court’s jurisdiction.

He was called back into court on Wednesday for sentencing on the remaining charges.

Faherty’s solicitor stated on Monday that he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder 20 years ago, as well as suffering from partial blindness. He noted that Faherty had no previous convictions.

The defendant also said that he suffered from Persistant Genital Arousal Disorder (PGAD), which normally affects females. Immediately following his statement, a hush fell over the courtroom and Judge Mary Fahy seemed taken aback.

She asked if he was using the condition as a defence for his actions in 2014, and stated her belief that “this man has no remorse for what he did.”

The other charges included trespassing at his former address in Newcastle just days after being evicted and burning objects in the garden, as well as criminal damage after flinging a metal bin at a car.

Fahy sentenced him to 9 months imprisonment on Monday, adding another consecutive month to his total sentence on Wednesday.