Man, 30, is convicted of sexual and common assault

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A 30-year-old man was convicted at Londonderry magistrates Court of sexually assaulting a teenage girl.

The defendant, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the complainant, was found guilty of sexual assault and two charges of common assault relating to an incident on August 23, last year.

He was ordered to sign the sex offenders register and will be sentenced next month.

The Magistrates Court heard evidence from the victim, who the court heard was the 14-year-old sister of the defendant’s ex-partner.

In evidence she said she was returning home with her sister in the early hours of the morning when the pair met the 30-year-old defendant near their house.

She said they initially refused to let the man into the house because he was drunk, however he was allowed in a short time later.

The young witness told the court she was left alone in the kitchen with the defendant for a short time.

She told the court he touched her chest and her upper leg.

The teenager said she told the defendant to stop what he was doing, which he did.

The court heard evidence that a short time later an argument broke out between the defendant and a teenage boy, who had been looking after his child.

It was alleged that the defendant made an attempt to strike the teenage boy. At that point, however, the defendant’s ex-partner intervened and he instead struck her with his elbow.

The court also heard evidence from the ex-partner of the defendant.

She told the court that the 30-year-old had made comments to the teenage boy who was looking after their child.

She said he then went to strike the boy.

“I stepped in between them and ended up getting hit,” she said.

The teenage boy also gave evidence during the contested case.

In his evidence the boy said the defendant was making comments about how lucky he was to be holding his child. He said the defendant then stood up and hit him on the jaw.

The boy also told the court that the defendant’s ex-partner got struck on the face.

Giving evidence on his own behalf, the 30-year-old defendant in the case denied that he sexually assaulted the 14-year-old girl.

He said he was never left alone with the alleged teenage victim in the kitchen on the night in question.

The defendant told the court: “It’s a lot of lies; a load of nonsense. It never happened”.

He denied hitting the teenage boy and his ex-girlfriend.

He said he had pushed the boy, but did not strike him.

District Judge Barney McElholm convicted the defendant on all the charges.

He will appear in court again on July 24.