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Northern Ireland takeaway owner admits sex assaults on female worker (17)

By George Jackson

A married Chinese takeaway owner who pleaded guilty to seven charges of indecently assaulting a 17-year-old female employee will be sentenced next week.

Tian Sun Chi (47) admitted indecently touching the girl on numerous occasions between June 1 and September 2, 2014.

He committed the abuse inside his Peking Gardens takeaway at Strabane Old Road, where he lives with his wife and their four children, who are aged from two to 13.

In 1996, Chi came to Derry where he met his wife, who is also Chinese. He started his takeaway business 10 years ago.

He has a limited understanding of English and cooked meals after customers' orders were given to him by his staff.

Defence barrister Dean Mooney told Derry Crown Court that his client's business had suffered since he was charged with the offences two years ago.

He said the consequences of Chi being sent to jail would have a devastating effect on his wife, who has stood by him, on their children and on the takeaway.

The prosecution barrister said with the exception of one of the charges, when Chi touched the girl's breast, the sexual touching of parts of her body was over, not underneath, the victim's clothing.

The barrister said the abuse had a huge impact on the victim, who had worked for Chi for four months.

The job had been recommended to her by her cousin, who had worked there without incident.

The lawyer added the victim said Chi touched her "loads" of times.

She reported the abuse to her mother and aunt and made a statement to police in October 2014.

The defendant was interviewed in March 2015. He denied the allegations up until the day of his trial last June, when he pleaded guilty to seven charges.

Mr Mooney said on the one occasion of skin-to-skin contact, the victim pulled away as Chi tried to move his hand inside her bra.

He also stressed said the level of seriousness of the offences was at the lower end of the scale, saying: "He has been the sole proprietor of the business for 10 years, during which dozens of young females worked there and no other complaints were made against him.

"This was isolated offending against one injured party.

Judge Babington released Chi on continuing bail and said he would sentence him next Friday.

Belfast Telegraph

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