AN ENNISKILLEN man who sexually assaulted both an ambulance worker and a police officer while on “legal highs” has been given a suspended sentence.
Melvyn Bussell (33) of Cleenish Park in Enniskillen was found guilty after contest of two counts of common assault, two counts of assault on police, two counts of sexual assault, one count of attempted sexual assault, resisting police, and attempted criminal damage.
The charges arose from an incident on August 24, 2015 when he was being brought to hospital by ambulance and began making unwanted sexual advances towards a female crew member, rubbing her leg and simulating oral sex.
After being warned to stop, Bussell then tried to pull things from the wall of the ambulance. When a female crew member tried to strop him, he put his hand inside her shirt, ripping off a button. He also kicked out and tried to hit a male member of staff, and when police arrived he tried to head-butt an officer, striking out and attempting to bite another.
His police interview the next day had to be suspended as Bussell, who later said he couldn’t remember the events, was acting lewdly and grabbed the female officer by the bottom as she left.
Sentencing had previously been adjourned in the case to allow Bussell a chance to engage with the community addiction team and probation services. Last week the case was back before Enniskillen Magistrates Court for sentencing.
The court heard Bussell, who still suffers the affects of a serious brain injury sustained in a car crash 15 years ago, had not since reoffended, and his GP had confirmed he is now drug-free.
Defence solicitor Garry Smyth said Bussell had “kept out trouble” since the incident on August 24, 2015, and explained at the time of his offending he had been abusing drugs. He said “to his credit” Bussell had since completed a spell in a residential unit dealing with the issue, and had been engaging well with probation services.
District Judge Nigel Broderick said the offences Bussell was guilty of were “extremely serious” as they’d involved not just sexual assault, but the assault of a medical professional. He said ordinarily, such offences would warrant an immediate custodial sentence, however Judge Broderick said he must take Bussell’s personal circumstances into consideration, in reference to the effects of his brain injury.
Judge Broderick sentenced Bussell to five months in prison, suspended for 18 months, and warned him to be “very careful” with his behaviour in future.
“He also said Bussell should be referred to psychosexual services, and placed him on the sexual offences register for seven years.
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