Limavady man jailed for sexual assault

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A 25-year-old man has been jailed for sexually assaulting a woman in the town following New Year’s Eve celebrations.

James Anthony McIntyre, of Coolessan Walk, Limavady pleaded guilty to one charge of sexual assault on January 1, 2011.

The court was told McIntyre and the victim would have been known to each other and met by chance after the New Year’s Eve celebrations.

McIntyre and the woman were both intoxicated and the defendant touched the woman despite attempts by witnesses to stop him.

Judge Piers Grant said that the persistence on McIntyre’s part was an aggravating factor in the case.

He said it was a further aggravating factor that the injured party showed a “clear inability to comprehend what was happening”.

Judge Grant said the victim was a “vulnerable young woman” and while all her problems “could not be laid at McIntyre’s door” he had to accept responsibility for what his behaviour had caused.

McIntyre was said to have a “substantial record” but not for this type of offence.

Judge Grant said there had been no premeditation and no thereat of violence in the sexual assault, but McIntyre should have a well developed sense of right and wrong.

McIntyre was sentenced to 15 months in prison and ordered to sign the sex offenders register for a period of 10 years.

Following the sentencing, the injured party had to be comforted by friends and relatives in the courtroom.