Woman guilty of sexual assault on young man

A Fermanagh woman has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a man after she allegedly "forced" herself on him.

Fermanagh Court heard that Caroline Irwin, of Carrowshee Park, Lisnaskea, grabbed the man by the backside and tried to give him a "love bite".

The 47-year-old denied the charge but failed to turn up at the court and was convicted in her absence.

The man told the court the incident happened on November 2 when he was asked to go to a house in Lisnaskea, where a woman wanted to pay him £10 for cutting her lawn.

When he went to collect the cash, Irwin was also there. The woman asked him to carry out bags to a taxi that was waiting for Irwin. She "grabbed me by the backside, four or five times", the man said.

As he walked out the gate, she tried to "give me a love bite" on the neck. The man added that Irwin also dug her fingernails into him.

Des Fahy, defending, suggested there was nothing sexual in what happened.

The man insisted the way Irwin forced herself upon him was sexual.

A police officer said he noticed scratch marks around the man’s stomach when he went to a house in Lisnaskea to look for Irwin.

The officer found her "passed out" and there was a smell of alcohol and Mr Fahy said the court might feel Irwin’s conduct might amount to assault but there was a question as to whether it was sexual assault.

Judge Broderick disagreed, saying he was satisfied with the man’s account of events. The judge deferred sentencing until April 28, when Irwin must make an appearance.

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