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Jury fails to reach verdicts in sex assault trial

By Michael Donnelly

Published 26/10/2016

A man will discover next week if he is to face a new trial accused of breaking into a woman's home and subjecting her to a series of sexual assaults, including attempted rape
A man will discover next week if he is to face a new trial accused of breaking into a woman's home and subjecting her to a series of sexual assaults, including attempted rape

A man will discover next week if he is to face a new trial accused of breaking into a woman's home and subjecting her to a series of sexual assaults, including attempted rape.

Stephen Brady, of Uppertown Drive in Newtownabbey, admits being in her house, but claimed he "was shocked" at being arrested and charged, as anything that happened was consensual.

Yesterday a Belfast Crown Court jury failed to reach either unanimous or majority verdicts on any of the seven charges 48-year-old Brady always denied.

Following six and a half hours of deliberation over two days, the jury told Judge Patricia Smyth that they could not reach agreement on any of the counts allegedly committed by Brady after he entered the woman's "home as a trespasser with intent to commit a sexual offence" in the early hours of December 15, 2014.

Thanking the jury for the time and effort, Judge Smyth agreed that they should be dismissed.

Prosecuting QC John Orr said that in the circumstances he would ask for a week-long adjournment of the case to give him time "to discuss the question of a re-trial".

Defence QC Eugene Grant, asked that Brady be returned to court then.

The prosecution had claimed that the woman had fallen asleep watching TV, and was later confronted by Brady in her living room, who allegedly subjected her to a number of sexual assaults.

However, Brady claimed he'd been invited into the house, and that the "sex was consensual", and that later he "was shocked (when) arrested in relation to these allegations".

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