By Brion Hoban and Stephen Bourke
A man who sexually assaulted two women in Dublin City centre and bit one of them as she tried to fight him off has been jailed for four years.
Jambasambuu Ekhtur (25) assaulted both women on separate occasions several months apart, on both occasions attacking the women while they were walking on their own at night in the city.
Ekhtur with an address at Talbot Hall, Talbot Street, Dublin city centre, pleaded guilty to sexual assault and assault causing harm of a woman at Mount Street Lower, Dublin City centre, on July 14, 2019.
He also pleaded guilty to sexual assault of a second woman at Talbot Street, Dublin City centre, on October 11, 2019.
He has no previous convictions in this jurisdiction.
Detective Garda Nathan Burke told Diana Stuart, BL, prosecuting, that on the date in July 2019, a young woman had left a group of friends after a night of socialising and was walking alone on Mount Street at around 2AM when her arm was grabbed and a man started dragging her down a laneway.
Det Gda Burke said the woman lashed out with her elbows and legs as he held her from behind and then felt him bite into her shoulder.
She let out a scream, and he reached for the buttons of her jeans and began to open them, Det Gda Burke said.
“When he put his hands on my trousers I thought I’d be raped or sexually assaulted,” the woman said as she read her victim impact statement to the court.
“I was fighting so I wouldn’t be.”
Det Gda Burke said the woman was able to break free and escape the laneway, eventually withdrawing cash from an ATM and taking a taxi home.
Seeing her condition, the driver had offered to take her directly to a garda station.
Her boyfriend, who had been out looking for her, called gardaí, and she was brought to St Vincent’s Hospital.
Her arms and legs were bruised and since Ekhtor’s bite to her shoulder had broken her skin, she had to get a tetanus shot.
Det Gda Burke told the court Ekhtur was linked to the incident after being identified on CCTV following a similar attack in October 2019.
He said the investigating garda in that case, Garda Eoin McDermott, contacted him after looking for matching cases on Pulse.
At a previous hearing in May this year, Gda McDermott told the court that on the date in October 2019, a woman was making her way to a bus stop on her own at approximately 1AM having spent the night with her friends.
He said the accused man, who the woman did not know, came up behind her and grabbed her privates very hard.
His hand went under the woman’s skirt and grabbed her vagina area over her tights.
A taxi driver passing at the time saw the accused flee down a laneway and drove towards the other end of the street with the intention of blocking him, but was unable to do so.
The taxi driver then returned and waited with the victim until gardaí arrived.
While investigating the offence, gardaí were gathering CCTV from a nearby pub when one of the employees said they recognised Ehktur, as he worked at the pub.
Ehktur was arrested and later charged with the offence.
Det Gda Burke confirmed to Keith Spencer BL, defending, that a DNA swab taken from the shoulder bite suffered by the first victim had been analysed, and that Ekhtur had “contributed to that DNA”.
“He’s now aged 25 and he had never strayed outside his locale in Mongolia,” he said.
“He led a very rural, very secluded life, coupled with periods of time when he was working in construction,” he said in his plea for leniency.
He said Ekhtur had come to Ireland in late 2018 or early 2019 “to provide a better life” for his family after having his first son.
“At 8 months of age his mother passed away. He never knew his mother,” he said.
“Having come to these shores he was intoxicated by the culture,” saying Ekhtor had been drinking on both of the nights he carried out the attacks.
Counsel presented a psychological report which indicated Ekhtor had “an average risk of reoffending”.
“I do ask the court to acknowledge he is someone who doesn’t speak any English,” he said.
“Prison would be completely alien to him.”
Judge Martin Nolan said a sentence of four years in prison was appropriate for the sexual assault on his first victim, with the charge of assault causing harm taken into consideration.
He said two years would be the sanction for his sexual assault on the second woman.
Judge Nolan said “prison would be difficult” for Ekhtur because of his language difficulties, saying he could expect “little to no visitors.”
“Obviously it seems he is here with improper status.
It seems he could be or should be deported back to Mongolia,” he said, but added: “This man deserves a custodial term.”
He ordered that both sentences run concurrent to each other for an effective operative sentence of four years imprisonment.