Belfast Telegraph

Bar manager guilty of bedroom sex assault after all-night party

A bar manager was convicted today of carrying out a sexual assault while three men lay in bed together.

Brian Martin, 30, performed a sex act on the victim after they returned to his apartment from an all-night party in Belfast.

Rejecting his claim that it was consensual, a judge told him: "You attacked that man's credibility, you attacked his sexuality and you attacked his honesty."

Martin, of Alfred Street in the city, was released on bail but warned he could be jailed when sentenced next month.

Belfast Magistrates' Court heard how he drove the victim and another man back to his home on August 14 last year.

They talked and drank for a while before all three got into bed together.

Martin, who described himself as bisexual, accepted performing oral sex but claimed the victim was awake the whole time.

"He had a wee grin on his face," he told the court.

According to his account the victim then got up and said: "I'm not gay, I have a girlfriend."

It emerged that Martin later sent him an apologetic text message.

In it he said: "I'm really sorry, I feel like an ass****, I just got carried away."

Martin insisted the apology was not an admission of any wrongdoing but merely in reference to the victim wanting to experiment sexually.

"Maybe he was curious and it happened. Maybe I wasn't the right person," he told the court.

The third man in the bed, who confirmed he is gay, testified to seeing Martin perform the sex act while the victim slept.

Police were not informed of Martin's claims that other two were involved in a similar encounter first.

With the court told how he was suspended from his job following the incident, he explained his reasons for saying nothing were to ensure no-one else got into trouble at work.

Urging an acquittal on the sexual assault charge, defence barrister Kelly Doherty argued there had been prior sexual contact between the complainant and third man.

Setting out the circumstances, she added: "Three men getting into bed together, one openly gay and the other bisexual.

"The court should have a clear doubt in its mind about what happened that night."

But Judge Chris Holmes decided he was satisfied of Martin's guilt beyond all reasonable doubt.

He told the defendant: "Not only did you contest it, but from day one you went out of your way to plan and manipulate and blacken in the worst possible way anybody who got in your way. No stone was unturned."

Releasing him on bail until sentence is passed in four weeks time, Mr Holmes advised: "Come back with a toothbrush."

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