A former RTÉ journalist has lost his appeal against his conviction and sentence for sexually assaulting a woman as she slept.

Mícheál Ó Leidhin, 38, who was a political reporter for Raidió na Gaeltachta, was found guilty by a jury earlier this year and jailed for 15 months.

The victim told the court her mind and body had been violated and she had lost her place in the world.

She said she would have to deal with it for the rest of her life.

RTÉ terminated Ó Leidhin's employment after his conviction.

The court heard Ó Leidhin and the victim met on a night out in May 2018.

They went back to Ó Leidhin's house in the early hours of the morning, where they engaged in consensual sexual activity.

However, the woman said she told him she did not want to have sex as they had no contraception.

The court heard they fell asleep.

The woman gave evidence that she woke up to find Ó Leidhin lying on top of her groping her breasts.

She told him to get off her and the court heard he said something along the lines of "sorry, I'm horny".

The woman said she was confused and annoyed and told Ó Leidhin it was weird that he had done this while she was asleep.

She told the court she absolutely did not consent to it.

They went back to sleep and Ó Leidhin later gave the woman a lift home.

The court heard they spoke later that day via a phone call and texts in which the woman expressed her unhappiness about what had happened between them.

Ó Leidhin called over to her house that evening and they spoke for about an hour.

Prosecuting counsel Michael Delaney said they agreed to differ about what had happened the night before and there was no contact between them after that.

The woman reported the incident to gardaí a year later.

In a statement to gardaí, Ó Leidhin said that when he woke up on the night he had wanted to resume the sexual activity they had been engaged in earlier.

He said he had been trying to wake the woman to continue "fooling around". He said she asked him to stop and he did.

Judge Karen O'Connor in the Circuit Criminal Court said the probation report considered him to be a low risk of offending in the future, but she said it indicated that he accepted the verdict and not the import of the verdict.

His remorse appeared to relate to the victim's sense of hurt and upset because of her perception of what happened.

The judge said she had considered all the factors in what she described as an "unusual" case, but she said she had decided part of the sentence would have to be custodial.

She imposed a sentence of 18 months, but suspended the final three months.

In its ruling, the Court of Appeal rejected, on all grounds, Ó Leidhin's appeal against his conviction and against the severity of the sentence imposed on him.

Ms Justice Aileen Donnelly said that sexual assault while sleeping could not be viewed as a minimal or trivial sexual assault.

She said the experience of the victim could be viewed as a terrifying event and the fact that there had been earlier sexual contact between Ó Leidhin and the complainant did not mitigate against the seriousness of the offence.

Ms Justice Donnelly said all people have a right to feel safe while they sleep.

The judge said the court also did not see any basis for saying the trial judge did not give sufficient mitigation to Ó Leidhin.