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09 Dec 2021

County Derry man jailed for attempted sexual assault on paramedic

County Derry man jailed for attempted sexual assault on paramedic

A County Derry man has been jailed after being convicted of attempted sexual assault on a paramedic.

Gareth Young committed the offence while the paramedic was treating him for a head injury in the back of an ambulance during the early hours of February 26.

The 50 year-old, of Roeview Park in Limavady, was sentenced to four months in custody at Limavady Magistrates Court today after pleading guilty to attempted sexual assault.

Young also admitted assaulting the paramedic on the same date.

The court heard that an ambulance was called to a property at Rathbeg Crescent in Limavady following concerns about Young who had sustained a head injury.

Young, who was intoxicated, was taken into the back of the ambulance where the paramedic began to examine him.

She said that during the examination she noticed Young reaching out to her crotch area however she ignored him.

The court heard as the paramedic continued to deal with Young, he again reached out to her crotch area forcing her to jump back as she feared he was going to touch her.

When the paramedic told Young that his behaviour was 'out of order' he jumped up to remonstrate forcing her to move into the corner of the ambulance.

When Young was arrested and questioned he said he had no recollection of the incident as he was 'incredibly intoxicated'.

Defence Dean Mooney described the incident as 'disgraceful'.

He explained that Young had sustained a 'fairly significant head injury' and he had 'drank to the point where he was completely inebriated and wasn't in control of his faculties'.

“He was a man, to use the proverbial, who couldn't bite his finger. Whatever injury he sustained, it affected him in a way that he wasn't thinking properly.”

Mr Mooney said that Young, who the court heard has no history of a sexualised type of offending, 'simply could not accept that he had acted in the way he did'.

“This is a case that will have longstanding difficulties for this man going forward,” said the barrister, adding: “I would ask you to give him credit for the fact that he has pleaded guilty and has abject remorse for what he did.”

Addressing Young, District Judge Peter King said: “You come before the court with 102 previous convictions however in that offending career there is nothing of a sexual nature.”

Adding that the court takes a very serious view of attacks on paramedics and other medical personnel, Judge King continued: “It's inconceivable that the court can send out a proper message without imposing a period of custody.

“Attempted sexual assault makes custody today an inevitability.”

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