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'Misogynist' attacked woman walking her dogs in Belfast park

54-year-old had been on three-day drink and drugs binge

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A 54-year-old man was jailed yesterday for attacking a woman as she walked her dogs in a Belfast park

A 54-year-old man was jailed yesterday for attacking a woman as she walked her dogs in a Belfast park

A 54-year-old man was jailed yesterday for attacking a woman as she walked her dogs in a Belfast park

A 54-year-old man was jailed yesterday for attacking a woman as she walked her dogs in a Belfast park.

Christopher Martin McGuinness - who was branded a "misogynist" by a Crown barrister -pinned the woman to the ground, straddled her, then hit her several times with a stick before fleeing. The woman, who was 53 at the time, feared she would be raped during the violent incident, which occurred in Belvoir Forest Park at around 2pm on Sunday, October 21, 2018.

Whilst the incident has had a lasting impact on her, McGuinness later told a probation officer "it was tough on her and I don't do apologies or remorse".

McGuinness appeared at Belfast Crown Court, where he was remanded into custody ahead of sentencing next month.

Before she remanded McGuinness, from Ormeau Road in Belfast, Judge Donna McColgan QC was told by Crown barrister David Russell that the defendant admitted charges of both common and sexual assault.

Mr Russell said that as the woman was walking in the park and listening to music on earphones, she became aware of her dogs barking at something behind her. She turned round and McGuinness - who had a scarf round his face - ran towards her with a stick in his hand. She shouted at him to keep back, but he continued to advance and an altercation ensued.

McGuinness then pushed the woman against a tree which caused her to fall, and whilst on the ground he straddled her and pinned her down. Mr Russell said: "She was totally overpowered, she felt fearful of being raped or sexually assaulted and felt in fear for her life."

She called for help, her dogs continued barking and McGuinness then got off her and hit her around six times on her head and face with the stick before fleeing the scene. She was left with swelling to her head and hands.

The matter was reported to police, an investigation was launched and McGuinness was arrested. During interview he claimed he had no memory of the incident as he had been on a three-day drink and drugs binge.

Mr Russell said McGuinness has a long-standing addiction to alcohol which he refuses to address, and has previous convictions for violence against women and sexual offences. Branding McGuinness as a "misogynist" who has "deep-seated issues with women in general", the prosecutor revealed that the woman now carries a hiking pole and rape alarm for protection.

Defence barrister Michael Boyd said it was accepted what occurred was "a very concerning and serious incident", adding "thankfully serious physical injury was not occasioned".

Judge McColgan remanded McGuinness into custody. He will spend two weeks in self-isolation in Maghaberry, and will be sentenced for the park attack, via videolink, on November 6.

Belfast Telegraph