Coleraine fitness trainer Wright guilty of drink-fuelled sex assault on woman
A personal trainer has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a woman after "nagging her for sex" on a drink-fuelled night during the Christmas holidays.
Aaron John Wright (39), of Hendra Park in Coleraine, had contested the charges, relating to a woman he had been seeing for six weeks after they got to know each other through Facebook and a church.
A third charge of causing unnecessary suffering to a dog on the same date was dropped.
It had been claimed Wright threw it off the woman's bed during the sexual assault on December 27 last year.
At Coleraine Magistrates' Court yesterday, District Judge Liam McNally convicted the defendant of the two charges.
Mr McNally, who indicated a sentencing hearing would be held next month, said that while the attack was a serious incident, it did not meet the criteria for a custodial sentence and he would probably impose probation.
However, the judge also described the defendant's behaviour as "appalling".
Wright had consumed vast quantities of alcohol at the time, and despite the woman saying she did not want to have sex with him at her house, he persisted and sexually assaulted her.
Judge McNally said: "This was a nasty incident where it was quite clear that the advances of Mr Wright were not welcome.
"He should have complied with her requests."
Convicting Wright, the judge said he was satisfied that the account given by the injured party was true.
Earlier, the woman said she had been out in a pub with Wright on Boxing Night when he said he was jealous of her talking to other people and a man buying her a drink.
She also claimed that Wright had put her hand on the inside of her thigh, after which she told him to stop.
Later, when they were both at her home, Wright pestered her for sex persistently.
At one point, the woman began to cry, and as he tried to comfort her he straddled her on a sofa and "demanded we have sex" two or three times.
"When he came towards me I started to get scared," the victim said. "I thought he would understand why I didn't want to have sex with him after him insulting me".
Wright left the next morning after a friend picked him up.