A 55-year-old man, who was convicted of sexually assaulting a woman at her home in Ederney last year, has been spared jail.
John McGullion of Lisnagort Court in Omagh denied the charge against the woman, who cannot be named, on dates between January 1st and 31st last year. He was found guilty at a contest hearing at Enniskillen Magistrates Court in May and appeared before the court again on Wednesday for sentencing.
The victim told the initial court hearing that she had first seen McGullion, who she knew on first name terms, when he did some landscaping work at her place of employment, two or three years prior to the incident.
She saw him again one morning in January last year when he called to her home at around 9.30am.
“I heard a knock at the door and when I opened it I was shocked to see John standing there because he had no reason to be there. I was terrified and trembling as I didn’t know what he was there for. He asked if I was alone and if he could come in.”
The woman said McGullion then asked her to kiss him.
“He said ‘go give us a kiss’ and I said ‘no way’ and told him to get out. He asked me three times and I told him to get away. Then he grabbed me by the shoulders and kissed my head. He left and said nothing.”
She said she felt disgusted and embarassed about the incident but didn’t report it to police at the time.
The victim told the court that the man returned to her home again one morning in July of that year.
“I was in my bedroom when I heard six bangs on the door. I looked out the window and saw John outside. He was determined to get in and tried the door handle. He stayed for about five or ten minutes before leaving,” she said.
Defence barrister Brian O’Sullivan had questioned the date of the incident in January. The victim told him she was certain that the incident occurred on a Wednesday morning and when given various dates she said it would have been the 21st. Mr O’Sullivan said his client had not been at her house on that date as he was working.
District Judge Nigel Broderick said he was satisfied with the credibility and reliability of the injured party.
“She is a very straightforward witness and not prone to exaggeration. I’ve no doubt that the incident occurred as she has described and that she was grabbed and kissed by the defendant.”
He convicted McGullion but had adjourned sentencing and requested a police sentence report.
At Wednesday’s hearing, Mr O’Sullivan said his client, who was in court accompanied by his brother, enjoyed “the full support of his wife and family”.
The judge said he had been satisfied with the credibility and reliability of the injured party.
“The incident had clearly caused her a great deal of concern. The defendant was convicted of a very relevant offence in January 2012 and given a three year probation order that was designed to prevent him from re-offending.
McGullion was given a three year sentence, suspended for two years and placed on the Sex Offenders Register for a period of five years. He was also ordered not to enter Ederney and to have no contact with the injured party. Mr O’Sullivan indicated that his client would be appealing his conviction.
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