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27/09/2021

Derry man who sexually assaulted a young woman by masturbating on her has been ordered to pay his victim £3,000 in compensation

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A 23-year-old Derry man who sexually assaulted a young woman by masturbating on her has been ordered to pay his victim £3,000 in compensation. Christy Canning, of Rosemount Gardens in Derry, admitted one charge of sexually assaulting the woman on October 16, 2016. The court was told police received a report on October 17 that in the early hours of the morning the woman had been at an address with several others. She fell asleep on a couch with the defendant for a short period and woke to feel something wet on her buttock and thigh. Forensic tests revealed the substance to be semen which was identified as Canning's. At interview Canning denied the offence and said it was simply not true. At a later interview the forensic evidence was put to Canning as were messages exchanged between him and the injured party discussing the incident, but he refused to answer any questions. Defence barrister Sean Doherty said his client had been 'intoxicated' when he arrived at the party having consumed nine pints and a litre of vodka. He said the 'disinhibiting affects' of the alcohol had led him to commit 'this appalling offence' Mr Doherty said Canning had let himself and his family down and showed 'genuine remorse'. District Judge Barney McElholm said up until this incident Canning had led a 'blameless life' but after one night drinking 'an enormous amount of alcohol he threw it all away.' He said what Canning had done was 'wrong' and the young lady did not deserve to be treated in this way. The judge said the woman had been left 'shocked, embarrassed and humiliated'. He added that medical reports indicated that Canning was unlikely to commit further offences but 'that does not lessen the trauma for the victim.' He imposed a £500 fine and ordered Canning to pay £3,000 in compensation.

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