Fermanagh filmmaker cleared of sexual assault

AN ENNISKILLEN film director has been cleared of sexually assaulting an actress at her flat in London.
Stephen Fingleton (35) was found not guilty of the charge by a jury of six men and six women at Isleworth Crown Court this week. Fingleton wept in the dock as the verdict was read and turned to the jury and said “thank you.”
The Enniskillen director had been accused of assaulting the woman after having lunch with her at her flat on October 27, 2017. The woman, who had said she had invited Fingleton to discuss work opportunities, claimed he had grabbed her head and pushed it towards his crotch. She also alleged he had tried to kiss her and put his hand under her t-shirt.
The court heard the woman had sent a message to a friend afterwards stating Finlgeton had been “totally Harvey Weinstein.”
Fingleton’s defence team argued the lunch had not been planned as a professional meeting and the defendant had been honest about wanting to see the woman and “thought it might go somewhere.”
They argued the situation was not the same as that of a Hollywood “mogul”, where there would have been “an imbalance of power”, and said the woman had lied about the assault after becoming upset Fingleton did not like a film she had made.
Fingleton had told the court he had been on the point of becoming successful at the time the allegation was first made, and had lost his involvement with an American film with well known actors as a result.

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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