Apprentice jockey remanded in custody for sexual assault and false imprisonment of woman in Tralee

An apprentice jockey has been remanded in custody for sentencing for the false imprisonment and sexual assault of a woman in Tralee in September last year. Tralee Courthouse Maurice Fitzgerald of 28 Abbeyview, Buttlevant, Co Cork also admits possessing duct tape and a scissors, and assaulting the woman causing her harm at the Dan Spring Road, Tralee on September 20th last year. Tralee Circuit Criminal Court heard Maurice Fitzgerald approached the woman outside a late-night venue after she had become separated from her friends on a night out. The 22-year-old invited her back to his house at 4 Cherry Court, Ashleigh Downs, where he told her there was a party going on; when they arrived she said the house was in silence. The sexual assault occurred in a bedroom, following which the woman, who was 18 at the time, left the house on foot. After she had walked about one and half miles she became aware she was being followed and a man grabbed her in a headlock from behind and knocked her to the ground. The man was barefoot and was wearing a hoodie and at first she didn’t recognise him as the same man who had earlier sexually assaulted her. Sgt Gary Carroll told the court the outcome would have been far more serious had the accused not been disturbed by two people. Andis Kampanz and Liridona Bunjaku were on their way home from work and came upon the scene; they contacted gardaí and Fitzgerald fled the scene and hid in bushes. He was later apprehended by gardaí, who discovered black latex gloves, duct tape, and a scissors in the vicinity. At the time Fitzgerald was on bail for the sexual assault of another woman in Tipperary. Judge Thomas O’Donnell adjourned sentencing and remanded him in custody to the July 5th sitting of the court.