Takeaway owner is spared jail over sex assaults on teenager
A Chinese takeaway restaurant owner, who admitted seven charges of indecently assaulting a 17-year-old female worker over a four-month period, was yesterday given a suspended jail sentence.
Londonderry Crown Court Judge Philip Babington said the main reason why he was suspending the sentence was because the defendant, by his pleas of guilty, had spared his victim from the ordeal of having to give evidence in open court and was therefore entitled to considerable credit.
Tian Sun Chi (47) committed the abuse inside his Peking Gardens takeaway at Strabane Old Road. He lives above the premises with his wife and their four children.
The court was told that Chi arrived in Derry in July 1996 after he had been smuggled out of China. He admitted touching his victim in private areas over her clothing and once touched her breast under her clothing.
His victim left her employment and reported the abuse to her mother and aunt who then informed the police.
In December 2014 the victim made a video recorded statement to the PSNI. Chi was interviewed by the police in March 2015.
He denied the allegations and continued to deny them up until the day of his trial on June 11 of this year when he pleaded guilty to all seven charges.
Judge Babington told Chi, who followed the proceedings with the assistance of an interpreter, that he had no doubt the offending had a detrimental impact on the victim.
"One can only hope that as time goes by the matters she finds difficult will improve and that she will be able to move on and put these matters well and truly behind her," he said.
Judge Babington said the author of a pre-sentence report described the offending as pre-meditated.
The author stated that there was a medium likelihood of Chi re-offending and that he required a low category of supervision.
Judge Babington said Chi's offending was aggravated by the vulnerability of his victim because of her young age and said it was a breach of trust case.
But he said in Chi's favour were his pleas of guilty and the fact that he had no previous convictions.
He said he also took into consideration the fact that none of Chi's other employees had made similar allegations against him.
"The indignity heaped upon the injured party by the way she was treated by you was completely unacceptable and it was disgraceful," Judge Babington told Chi.
Chi was given a 12-month jail sentence, suspended for 18 months. Judge Babington said in order to protect the public he was imposing a Sexual Offences Prevention Order for five years.
Chi is banned from any unsupervised contact with children under the age of 18, unless the contact is unavoidable and he must have no direct or indirect contact with his victim.
Judge Babington said Chi would also be subject to the notifications of the Sexual Offences Act for 10 years.