Ex-crues goalie says verdicts have ruined career
A former Crusaders and Hearts goalkeeper is set to appeal his convictions for sexually assaulting two women.
Dentist Lee Windrum was found guilty on four counts of sexual assault following a contested hearing at Belfast Magistrates’ Court last July.
The 36-year-old had pleaded not guilty but was convicted by the judge and later handed a four-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to pay £1,000 to each victim.
During his sentencing hearing at Armagh Magistrates’ Court in December last year his solicitor said Windrum “accepted his behaviour was wrong and describes it as despicable”.
But Windrum, of Kingsdale Park in east Belfast, has now taken the case to Belfast County Court in a bid to have the convictions overturned.
The case was mentioned at the court on Friday when it was adjourned to January 28 to fix a date for the full appeal hearing.
Windrum was found guilty of attacking the two women between January 1 and February 29, 2020 and then again on July 10 in the same year.
He was further convicted of assaulting his other victim twice on July 3, 2020.
Ahead of his sentence being passed at Armagh Magistrates’ Court, Windrum’s solicitor told the judge of the impact the convictions had on his working life.
“There’s no doubt these are very serious offences, and the defendant acknowledges that,” said the lawyer.
“He’s a young man who comes before the court with no criminal convictions.
“People who know him from various backgrounds speak of what a hard-working and pleasant young man he is, but he has obviously thrown all that away.
“His view is that he has ruined his life by these convictions. He has been suspended from practising as a dentist and there is no prospect of him continuing in that profession following these matters.
“He has effectively thrown away all his hard work and by his actions.
“He accepts his behaviour was wrong and describes it as despicable. He has also indicated he has suffered greatly with his mental health.”
Sentencing Windrum, the judge said both victims had suffered mental health issues as a result of the attacks and one now fears leaving the house on her own.
The judge told Windrum: “The offences were also committed at a place of work. You had a position of authority.
“You were a professional man who abused that position, which I regard as a serious aggravating factor.”
Sunday Life previously approached Windrum for comment on the case but he declined to say anything about the matter.
The former goalie signed for Scottish Premiership side Hearts as a 16-year-old. He made just one substitute appearance under then manager Craig Levein before being released by the club.
Windrum went on to play for a string of lower league Scottish sides and Irish League teams, including Crusaders, Lisburn Distillery, Carrick Rangers, Glenavon, Harland & Wolff Welders and Knockbreda FC.
The qualified dentist was employed at a number of practices in the Co Antrim and Co Down areas before the sexual assaults came to light.
He was suspended by the General Dental Council (GDC) on August 17, 2020 after referring himself over the charges on July 29.
Windrum also once appeared on the hit prime time ITV dating show Take Me Out.