Londonderry man accused of sexual assault

Belfast High Court.
Belfast High Court.

A Londonderry man was remanded into custody today (Saturday) accused of sexually assaulting a woman in a shopping centre.

Appearing in the dock of Belfast Magistrates Court in a grey tracksuit and green parka jacket, 39-year-old Massimo Giacomin confirmed he understood the single charge against him.

Giacomin, of no fixed address, is accused of sexually assaulted a woman in Castlecourt shopping centre on 10 November this year.

A police constable gave evidence that she believed she could connect Giacomin to the offence while defence solicitor Paul Dougan said the defendant “had hoped the matter could be dealt with today” but that having spoken to the PPS, “offences of this nature have to go through the serious crime unit.”

A prosecution lawyer confirmed the victim is due to give her formal statement tomorrow having made a “verbal complaint” and there is also “body worn footage.”

Mr Dougan revealed that Giacomin was only freed from prison on Thursday and that the alleged victim “is a staff member at Castlecourt when security staff happened upon it”.

“She does verbalise her complaint on the footage and the defendant makes a response and an acceptance,” said the lawyer adding that “it’s quite an unusual allegation,” he said.

He disclosed that “the touching appears to have been possibly made not by the defendant physically touching her by hand but by accidentally touching her with a key and the injured party says on the tape she’s not sure what exactly she was touched with.”

Remanding Giacomin into custody, District Judge Margaret Henderson ordered him to appear again via videolink this Wednesday.

As he was being led to the cells Giacomin exclaimed “I didn’t do anything - I don’t want to go back to prison.”