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Teen who groped two women in shops jailed

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Felician Farkas (19), of Rathglynn in the town, pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting and assaulting the women

Felician Farkas (19), of Rathglynn in the town, pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting and assaulting the women

Felician Farkas (19), of Rathglynn in the town, pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting and assaulting the women

A Romanian man who sexually assaulted two shoppers in Antrim has been jailed for 10 weeks.

Felician Farkas (19), of Rathglynn in the town, pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting and assaulting the women.

The incidents on October 23 this year occurred at an Age Concern charity shop and a Poundland store.

The defendant appeared at Ballymena Magistrates Court yesterday via video-link from Hydebank Young Offenders Centre, where he has been on remand in connection with the charges after being unable to obtain a bail surety in October.

A prosecutor said police attended the Age Concern shop following a report of a sexual assault on a female.

The woman said that while shopping the defendant, on three occasions, "touched her in a sexual manner to her backside", and on the third occasion Farkas had "grabbed her backside with both hands".

On the same date there was a report of another woman being sexually assaulted while shopping in Poundland.

She told police the defendant "swiped his hand once across her backside".

When arrested and taken to Antrim Police Station the defendant admitted being in both shops and admitted that he had touched the first woman a number of times, including on her backside.

However, he had denied it was intentional or for his own pleasure.

In relation to the second victim, the defendant told police he had touched her but said it was "accidental".

A defence barrister said they were now guilty pleas, and that a "realistic" approach was being taken to the charges.

The lawyer said Farkas and his wife had come to Northern Ireland to seek work, and because of her husband's offending she had returned to Romania. The defendant also intends to go back to his homeland.

The barrister said that while the incidents must have been "disturbing" for the victims, and he was not downplaying what had happened, they were at the lower end of the scale.

The lawyer said it had been a "very difficult time for him, particularly being in custody in Northern Ireland and having a limited grasp of the English language".

The court heard the defendant had no criminal record and had been in custody on remand for around five weeks.

District Judge Nigel Broderick handed down a 10-week sentence.

Belfast Telegraph


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