Sexual assault in a cinema in Tallaght
A CHINESE woman on holiday who sexually assaulted two 12- year-old girls in a Cinema in Tallaght was this week jailed for three months. Judge Anthony Halpin in Dublin District Court also registered Yan Yuet Ching as a sex offender for seven years. He backdated the sentence to October 9 last, the date of the offence and when Ching was - taken into custody. The mother of one of the victims and the father of the other victim were in court for the final. They were accompanied by Noelle Fitzpatrick from the Tallaght Branch of Victim Support. Their daughters gave evidence to the court sitting in the Criminal Courts of Justice building in Parkgate Street by video, link. When Judge Halpin found Ching guilty, the mother of one of the girls gasped "Yes" from the public gallery. - Ching, aged 42, with an address at Killery Terrace, Upper Dargle Road, Bray, had pleaded not guilty to two charges of sexually assaulting the girls - and to two counts of assaulting the girls at the IMC Cinema, - The Square, Tallaght, on October 9 last. The first girl in her video interview said she and her friend went into the cinema and the only other person there was Ching. She said Ching asked them if she was sitting in the right seat. Ching told them they were beautiful and asked if she could take their photographs. The girl and her friend said no. Ching took the photographs - anyway and then touched herself while she touched the girl's leg. The girl told the court that she felt "weird" when Ching touched herself while touching her leg. The girl said she was still worried what would happen if Ching "doesn't get arrested". Under cross-examination from Coleen Coughlan BL, defending, the girl said she was "positive she [Ching] was feeling her private parts". The second victim said that Ching told them it was a bit warm and asked them to take off their coats. She said she jumped up when Ching started feeling her leg. She said the girls then ran away but Ching tried to pull one of the girl's hair. The second girl said: "I felt very uncomfortable, felt violated. No one has the right to take your pictures or to feel your leg." CCTV evidence showed Ching entering the cinema and then the two girls enter the cinema. followed by the two girls, who flee after Ching touches their leg. Garda Aine McCarville said that at 830pm on the above date, she took a report of an alleged assault at the IMC cinema in Tallaght while she was on mobile patrol. Ching remained in the cinema until the gardai arrived.
She said she spoke to the manager in the IMC and later to the two girls who said that Ching had been touching herself while touching their leg. Garda McCarville said Ching kept hold of her phone when she was arrested and she had to restrain her. She said: "I got the impression that she was trying to delete the pictures of the girls when she told me that she had not taken the pictures." Ms Coughlan put it to Garda McCarville that there was "no indecent element" to the assault-. and that Ching denies she touched herself. She applied for a direction on the grounds that the evidence against Ching was "tenuous", that there were large inconsistencies in the prosecution evidence and that there was no evidence of an indecent assault in that there was no intent.
Judge Halpin ruled against Ching and said there was a case to answer.
Ching told Judge Halpin that she went to the cinema and asked the girls where she could sit. She said she thought the girls “were nice". Ching said she had not wanted to scare the girls. She denied that she had been touching herself and said that she had merely putting her hand - between her legs and continued this in the Garda -station, Under cross-examination from the solicitor for the DPP, she - denied, that asking the girls where to sit had been "a ruse" to sexually assault them. Ching denied rubbing the girls' legs but said she patted them. She said she had been trying to comfort one of the girls when they ran away and in doing so, pulled her hair. Ching told the court that she did not want to sexually assault the two girls. Summing up, Judge Halpin said: "On the whole I believe the evidence of the two young girls. I am satisfied that a sexual assault did take place." He convicted Ching on the two sexual assaults and dismissed the two common assaults. The court heard that Ching, was originally from China and moved to Hong Kong. She had been married in the past but this relationship had ended. Ms Coughlan said Ching had come to Ireland for a two-month holiday and intended to marry her Irish fiancee. The court heard that Ching had no previous convictions. -Judge Halpin said that while it was a serious offence if was at the lower end of the scale "of seriousness as there .was no invasion of the young girls but there was sexual gratification", Registering Ching as a sex offender, he sentenced her to three months jail backdated to - October 9 last.