Belfast Telegraph

Trainer in drunken Christmas sex attack is put on probation

By Nevin Farrell

A fitness instructor who sexually assaulted his former girlfriend after "nagging her for sex" when drinking to excess at Christmas has been handed 11 months' probation.

Aaron John Wright (39), from Hendra Park in Coleraine, contested the charges relating to the woman, who he had been seeing for six weeks at the time.

A charge of causing unnecessary suffering to a dog, which Wright allegedly threw off the woman's bed during the sexual assault on December 27 last year, was dropped.

During a hearing at Coleraine Magistrates' Court last month, District Judge Liam McNally convicted Wright of sexual assault and assault. Yesterday, the defendant was back in the same court for sentencing.

Wright's defence barrister, James McLernon, handed into the court a letter from a friend of his client and a letter from the health authorities.

Mr McLernon said the "true picture" of Wright is that he treats women, including his previous partners, well, apart from "this unfortunate incident".

He also claimed that when police arrived to arrest his client the day after the incident, he was "absolutely gob-smacked".

The court heard the defendant did not accept what the injured party said he had done because he could not believe he was capable of doing such a thing.

However, Mr McLernon said his client had expressed remorse for his "overall behaviour" on the night in question, of which he was "ashamed".

Putting Wright on probation for 11 months, with a condition that he undergoes a programme dealing with drink, drugs and offences of a sexual nature, District Judge McNally said Wright had got "hopelessly drunk" and "lost the complete run of yourself".

He wanted to have sex with the woman, but she did not consent because of his drunken condition, the judge said, adding that Wright's actions were "entirely inappropriate".

He did, however, concede that the defendant was not violent and that the woman's clothes were on during the attack.

Belfast Telegraph


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