Former sports hall supervisor weeps as cleared of sex assault

Bishop Street Courthouse
Bishop Street Courthouse

A former supervisor of a Derry sports centre broke down and wept yesterday after he was cleared of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy.

Patrick Pius Peoples, whose address was given on court papers as Glenbank Gardens, had denied the alleged sexual assault of the boy and falsely imprisoning him.

The complainant had alleged the incident took place in Brandywell Sports Centre, where the accused was employed as a supervisor, between March 1, 1986 and September 30, 1987. Following a week long trial, a jury at Derry Crown Court took less than an hour of deliberations to reach unanimous not guilty verdicts in the case.

The trial has been heard in front of five different juries in the last year. However, the jury on each previous occasion had to be discharged for legal reasons before they got to deliberate on a verdict.

As the not guilty verdicts were read out by the foreperson of the jury, Mr Peoples broke down in the dock and was comforted by family as he was told he was free to go.