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Sex assault accused who breached bail conditions is freed with electronic tag

By Nevin Farrell

Published 16/06/2016

Evening curfew: Coleraine fitness instructor Aaron Wright (38)
Evening curfew: Coleraine fitness instructor Aaron Wright (38)

A fitness instructor accused of sexually assaulting a woman spent two nights in prison after breaching his bail conditions.

Aaron John Wright, formerly of Railway Road in Coleraine but now of Captain Street Lower, has since been released with an electronic monitoring tag.

The 38-year-old is charged with sexual assault and common assault against the same woman.

He is also said to have caused unnecessary suffering to a dog last December 27, the same date as the other allegations.

Coleraine Magistrates' Court was told earlier this week that the defendant was brought to court in Ballymena on Saturday June 11 over an alleged breach of his bail terms, before being remanded in custody.

Wright was due to appear at a court in Coleraine via videolink from Maghaberry Prison this week. However, when his case was called he was not present in the videolink room, so the hearing went ahead in his absence.

A prosecutor told the latest hearing a new condition had been added to the defendant's bail terms - an electronic tag.

Few details of how he breached the original conditions were disclosed in court.

A defence lawyer merely said rent arrears at his client's former Railway Road address meant locks were changed, and that was part of the reason for the breach.

The lawyer added there should be no issue with the tag for his client and told how a new address at Captain Street Lower has been found, after which the case was adjourned to next week.

At a recent hearing, a defence lawyer complained at the length of time the courts had taken to deal with the case.

They told Coleraine Magistrates' Court on Monday June 6 the case was "straightforward" and involved one complainant and one other witness.

With the case adjourned until next week, District Judge Liam McNally said prosecutors needed to review its progress and give reasons for the delay.

At this week's hearing, Wright was released from prison on his own bail of £350 with conditions that he does not attempt to see, speak or contact the woman he is accused of assaulting.

He is also banned from entering Ballymoney and from consuming alcohol.

He is not allowed to possess or consume any illegal drugs or legal highs and is not to abuse prescription drugs.

He additionally has a night-time curfew from 11pm to 5am, and during those hours is subject to electronic monitoring.

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