A LISNASKEA woman has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a young man after she grabbed him by the bum, told him she loved him and attempted to give him a “love bite” on his neck.
47-year-old Caroline Irwin, of Carrowshee Park, denied the charge but failed to turn up at the court and was convicted in her absence.
She also allegedly tried to force herself on him and “snog him” following an incident at a mutual friend’s home, the court heard.
The court also heard that Irwin had contacted her solicitor that morning to say she was ill.
The injured party told the court the incident happened on November 2, last year.
He described how he was in bed when he got a text message from a friend asking him to go to a house in Lisnaskea, where a woman wanted to pay him £10 for cutting her lawn.
When he went to collect the cash, Irwin was also there.
The young man was asked to carry out bags to a taxi that was waiting for Irwin when she “grabbed me by the backside, four or five times”, the man said.
He also said how Irwin took one of his hands and told him: “You have lovely hands.”
As he walked out the gate, Irwin tried to “give me a love bite” on the neck, but he moved his head to stop her from doing so.
The man added that Irwin also dug her fingernails into him when she grabbed him by the side.
He then told her: “Please stop. I don’t like this.”
Referring to the £10, Irwin told the man: “You’re lucky. You’re coming up here about a tenner when I’ve lost my son.”
She then wrapped her arms around him and tried to “snog him”, saying: “I know you very well and I love you.”
The man described how Irwin and her friend appeared to be “really high” on drugs.
Defence barrister Des Fahy, suggested there was nothing sexual in what happened. However, the man told the court how “uncomfortable” the incident was and insisted that it was sexual.
A police officer gave evidence that he noticed scratch marks around the man’s stomach when the man appeared at Lisnaskea Police Station to report the incident a few hours later.
The officer went looking for Irwin in the house and found her “passed out” and there was a smell of alcohol and cannabis; however, a search of the house failed to recover any drugs.
Mr Fahy said the court might feel Irwin’s conduct might amount to assault, but he suggested there was a question as to whether it was sexual assault.
District Judge Nigel Broderick disagreed, saying he was satisfied with the man’s account of events.
He said he was satisfied this was “deliberate touching by the defendant and it was of a sexual nature and he didn’t consent to it”.
Judge Broderick deferred sentencing until (today) Monday April 28 and Irwin is due to attend court.
To read more.. Subscribe to current edition