Belfast Telegraph

OAP jailed for sex assault on woman in her hallway

By Ashleigh McDonald

A 72-year-old man who sexually assaulted a woman in the hallway of her home while delivering a Chinese takeaway has received a 13-month sentence.

Belfast Crown Court heard Craig Wright, from Co Antrim, was caught carrying out the offence on August 5, 2015, by the woman's 14-year old daughter, who returned home to witness her mother being attacked.

While carrying out the sex assault, Wright called the woman a "sexy wee b****".

After leaving the scene, he returned to the house a short time later to inform the woman's daughter that he had seen her missing dog, which she had been out looking for, at the top of the street.

Originally from Carrickfergus but now living at Browns Bay Drive in Islandmagee, Wright was told by Judge Patricia Smyth that he will serve half of his 13-month sentence in prison, with the remainder on supervised licence upon his release.

He was also made the subject of a five-year Sexual Offences Prevention Order.

Wright carried out two sexual assaults on the woman in her Co Antrim home.

After he called at her door with her meal, the woman invited Wright to wait in the hall while she got her purse.

Once inside, Wright asked if the woman's children were home. When she said no, he grabbed her by the throat, pinned her against a wall and sexually assaulted her.

As he was in the process of carrying out a second sexual assault, the woman's teenage daughter - who had been out looking for her dog - returned with her friend and witnessed the incident.

During sentencing, the court heard that the woman described what happened to her as "painful but short-lived."

A defence barrister said that his client came before the court with a clear criminal record.

Citing the incident as a "one-off", the barrister described what Wright did was both "shocking" and "out of character."

The barrister also issued an apology on behalf of Wright, who said he recognised the hurt he had caused both to the victim and to his own family.

Pointing out the "distressing offences" were committed in the victim's own home, Judge Smyth said: "Children were exposed to shocking scenes of the victim being assaulted in her hallway."

Judge Smyth said that despite his guilty pleas, Wright had "demonstrated a lack of insight", especially regarding the impact this has had on his victim as he initially "blamed her entirely" for what happened when he was first arrested.

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