‘Not the case of a sexual predator’ - court told

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A DUNGANNON man convicted of sexual assault of a woman in a shop has been given a two year Probation Order.

East Tyrone Magistrate’s Court heard how police stopped an intoxicated man as he attempted to drive away from the Oaks Road car park on September 27.

It transpired that the man, 68-year-old Kevin Currie from Mineveigh Road, matched the description of a man alleged to have sexually assaulted a woman in the shopping centre a few minutes before.

The victim described how she was followed around a shop by the defendant who subsequently asked, “Are you courting anyone?” while uncomfortably close to her.

When she moved away again he began stroking his crotch area for several seconds, making the woman “extremely nervous”.

He then suddenly pushed past the injured party, groping her buttocks.

A solicitor for the defendant told the court that her client had been married for 30 years and had developed an alcohol problem over the last decade following treatment for cancer. She said that he had been teetotal for the majority of his life.

“This is not a case of a sexual predator,” she said, telling the court that Mr Currie realised that his behaviour was unacceptable. She said that he had been off drink since January and had been attending counselling and AA meetings.

Handing down two year Probation Orders, District Judge John Meehan said that the “propensities displayed (by Mr Currie) is a matter of acute concern”.

He further fined the defendant £250 and banned him from driving for four years for the drink driving offence. A court levy of £15 was also imposed.