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Suspended sentence for Chinese takeaway owner who assaulted teenage staff member

Tian Sun Chi was given a 12-month jail sentence, suspended for 18 months 

THE owner of a Chinese takeaway who admitted seven charges of indecently assaulting a 17-year-old female employee has been given a suspended sentence.

Derry Crown Court judge Philip Babington said he was suspending the sentence because the defendant, by his pleas of guilty, had spared his victim from the ordeal of having to give evidence.

The court heard earlier this week that the abuse had taken place over a four-month period starting in June 2014 at Tian Sun Chi's Peking Gardens takeaway on the Strabane Old Road in Derry.

Chi (47), who arrived in Derry in 1996 after he was smuggled out of China, lives above the takeaway with his wife and four children.

He admitted indecently assaulting the teenager, touching her in areas over her clothing.

The teenager left her job and told family who reported the assault to police.

Chi was interviewed in March 2015 and denied the allegations. He continued to deny the allegations up until the day of his trial on June 11 of this year when he pleaded guilty to all seven charges.

Judge Philip Babington told Chi, who followed the proceedings with the assistance of an interpreter, that he had no doubt the offending had had a detrimental impact on the victim.

"One can only hope that as time goes by the matters she finds difficult will improve and that she will be able to move on and put these matters well and truly behind her," he said.

Judge Babington said he took into consideration that Chi fully accepted his guilt but he said pre-sentence reports showed there was a chance of Chi re-offending and that he required a low category of supervision.

Chi was given a 12-month jail sentence, suspended for 18 months and will be subject to a Sexual Offences Prevention Order for five years.

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