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Man accused of sex assault on patient in Northern Ireland hospital

Published 18/10/2016

A man has appeared at court accused of sexually assaulting a female patient with a 'mental disorder' in a ward at a hospital in Northern Ireland.

Ronnie Carleton (54) of Ballymena Road, Cullybackey, is alleged to have committed the offence on March 20 this year at Antrim Area Hospital., Antrim Magistrates Court heard on Tuesday.

It was his first court appearance in connection with the case.

The accused faces two charges the first of sexual assault when he intentionally touched the woman in a sexual way and that she did not consent to the touching and he did not reasonably believe she consented.

The second charge is that he intentionally and sexually touched the woman, 'she being unable to refuse because of or for a reason related to a mental disorder, and you knew or could reasonably be expected to have known that she had a mental disorder and that because of it or for a reason related to it she was likely to be unable to refuse'.

Standing in the court the accused confirmed he understood the charges.

A police officer said he believed he could connect the accused to the charges.

Defence solicitor David McIlrath said he had no questions for the officer.

A prosecutor asked for the case to be adjourned until mid-November for a full file to be prepared.

Carleton was released on his own bail of £300 with a condition he has no contact with the woman.

It is understood Carleton was a patient at the time of the incident which allegedly occurred in the early hours of the morning at the C3 Ward at Antrim Area Hospital.

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From Belfast Telegraph