Maghera GAA player convicted of sex assault on woman in Magherafelt

Cathal Mulholland
Cathal Mulholland

A student who was spotted by police shoving his hand up the skirt of a woman and touching her bottom, was fined £265 at Magherafelt Magistrates Court on a sexual assault charge.

Cathal Mulholland (19), of Beaver Crescent, Maghera, was also ordered to pay the victim £1,000 compensation.

A prosecuting lawyer said police on routine patrol on August 15 last saw the defendant run up behind the woman as she walked up Broad Street in Magherafelt and shoved his hand up her skirt.

She said defendant then made off in the direction of the bus station and was later detained by police at King Street.

The lawyer said the victim was tearful and upset following the incident and told police that the defendant had said “you will get it, you will definitely get it” before putting his hand up her skirt and touching her bottom.

A defence lawyer said Mulholland wished to unreservedly apologise to the victim for his behaviour , which he described as a “very foolish mistake.”

He explained that defendant had been out with friends on the night celebrating his ‘A’ Level results and had been drinking to excess.

Handing in to court two character references, he said Mulholland was an impressive and exceptional young sportsman having played for Derry U18 and his club who recently won the minor championships.

Counsel said the defendant’s family had taken “a very dim view of his behaviour”, and assured the court that there will be no repeat of the behaviour.

Describing it as a one-off impulsive act by a young person, District Judge Alan White stressed it was a difficult case.

He explained he had to balance between a sexual assault committed on a vulnerable person which had very serious consequences for her, and the defendant who had a clear record and was considered to be at a very low risk of re-offending.

Mr White said by pleading guilty the defendant had also saved the victim from having to give evidence.