Ballyclare man given suspended jail sentence after sexual assaults

Ballyclare man given suspended jail sentence after sexual assaults

A 41-year-old Ballyclare man has received a suspended prison term after admitting two charges of sexual assault relating to ‘sexual touching’ of a woman.

John Paul Rea, of Rashee Park, was sentenced at Ballymena Magistrates Court.

A defence barrister said it had been a “mean and despicable” offence and Rea, who had a previously clear record, was “disgusted with himself”.

At the time the defendant had been taking “non-prescription substances” and had been drinking to excess which led to “disinhibited behaviour,” it was said.

The lawyer said a pre-sentence report described Rea as a low risk of re-offending.

He said the defendant is now off alcohol and drugs.

The barrister said Rea has "completely turned his life around" and added: "He has discovered religion and has sought and receives solace from his church organisation".

Deputy District Judge Noel Dunlop said it was “despicable behaviour” and imposed a two months prison term, suspended for two years.

Rea was also placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for seven years.