Disgraced solicitor must pay £2,500 to colleague he sexually assaulted at party
A solicitor who sexually assaulted a female colleague during a lawyers' dinner party has been ordered to pay her £2,500 in compensation.
Christopher Logue, who is a junior partner in a Co Down law firm, drunkenly manhandled the newly-qualified solicitor in front of her two teenage children at a social function for the legal profession.
The 34-year-old father-of two's career and personal life were "in ruins" following his conviction it was claimed yesterday as he appeared in court for sentencing.
Logue's defence lawyer Eugene Grant QC asked the judge to consider two high-profile incidents - one that occurred on Celebrity Big Brother and another in the Dail - before passing sentence.
He drew comparison with a case famously known as 'Lapgate', when Fine Gael TD Tom Barry grabbed a female colleague and forced her to sit on his lap during a debate in the Dail in 2013.
Mr Grant then referred to a recent incident on Celebrity Big Brother when former Baywatch star Jeremy Jackson was thrown off the show for drunkenly opening a female contestant's dressing gown. Neither of these cases were pursued through the criminal courts.
However, District Judge Nigel Broderick said he did not believe either of the incidents were relevant to Logue's case.
Logue, who was supported in court yesterday by his wife, was at an East Down Solicitors' Association dinner on November 23 at the Burrendale Hotel in Newcastle, Co Down, when he began to "pester" his victim. He kept trying to hug her before climbing onto her lap. He then "nuzzled" into her chest and tried to climb on top of her.
A prosecution lawyer said that Logue's victim had been affected "very greatly" by the assault and it has impacted on "numerous aspects of her life and family life".
Logue, of Lady Wallace Crescent, Lisburn, has been a practising solicitor for six years. He is a junior partner at Joe Mulholland & Co in Downpatrick.
His defence team said that he recognised his victim's distress and had expressed "regret and remorse".
His barrister added: "This is a shattering blow for Christopher Logue's reputation and family life. It has undoubtedly affected his career prospects. His career is most definitely in jeopardy. He is a skeleton of the man he once was. His life and career lie in ruin."
District Judge Broderick, who fined Logue £1,000 for sexual assault and ordered him to pay compensation to his victim, told him he had lost his "good character".
He added that the assault falls into the "lower category of seriousness" but had been a "traumatic experience" for his victim.
"I recognise this conviction will have a serious impact in relation to your standing within the community as a whole," the judge added.
Logue, who faces disciplinary action through the Law Society and could be banned from practising law, said he was considering an appeal against his conviction.
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Christopher Logue attempted to ban news outlets from naming him. In the early stages of legal proceedings, the Downpatrick solicitor managed to obtain a reporting ban, claiming his reputation would be damaged by the allegations and the case against him would be prejudiced. However, a judge overturned the ban saying it was in the public interest for him to be named.