Belfast Telegraph

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Coleraine FC sack defender after exposure conviction

Published 28/09/2015

Aaron Canning in action for Coleraine.
Aaron Canning in action for Coleraine.

Coleraine Football Club have sacked defender Aaron Canning for breach of the club's code of conduct.

It comes after the 23-year-old appeared at North Antrim Magistrates’ Court and pleaded guilty to exposure.

The footballer was found to have pulled his car up alongside a 57-year-old woman before showing her his "fully erect penis".

He then asked: "Would you like some of it?"

He was sentenced to 18 months probation and given a seven-year Sexual Offences Prevention Order.

Under the terms of his SOPO Canning will have to disclose his sex offender convictions to any woman with whom he has a casual or intimate relationship.

Canning was dropped from his club's match against Portadown on Saturday.

In a statement the club said on Monday: “Player Aaron Canning has been found in breach of the Coleraine FC Code of Conduct.

"As a result, the club has terminated the player's contract with immediate effect.

"The player accepts and is in full agreement with the decision.

"Coleraine FC will make no further statement on the matter."

Sentencing Canning at North Antrim Magistrates’ Court district judge Liam McNally said the footballer’s “modus operandi” was to “target older women”.

Ordering him to read a report on how his actions impacted upon his victim, the judge said: “This is a very serious offence, that is why I asked you to read the victim impact report, so you know how much you have affected this woman’s life.

“It is the court’s duty to protect the women within my jurisdiction and as such I am imposing an 18-month probation order and placing you under a SOPO for seven years.”

Warning the footballer about his future behaviour, Judge McNally added: “Mr Canning use this as a red light to stop your offending.

“If you breach any of these terms or commit and further crimes you will be sent to prison.”

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