Northern Ireland news

Co Tyrone man jailed after entering bedroom of girl (14) and sexually assaulting her

The judge sentenced Potter to 14 months in prison with half in custody and half on licence

A CO Tyrone man who entered the bedroom of a 14-year-old girl and sexually assaulted her has been jailed.

Emmet James Potter (33) of Camlough Road, Pomeroy admitted one count of sexual assault that occurred on December 27 2018.

Derry Crown Court heard that the injured party was in her bedroom in her Moneymore home and saw the defendant in the room. He grabbed her by the arm, threw her on to the bed and touched her on the breast.

Potter tried to put his hand under her top and touched her genitals over her clothing.

She managed to push him off and tried to leave the bedroom, but Potter pulled her back. She fought him off and went into the sitting-room where her mother was sleeping.

Potter followed her, but when her mother woke up, she told Potter to leave. But he returned shortly later and offered the victim money.

The incident was reported to police.

Neighbours later said a male had tried to enter two other houses.

One neighbour was able to identify Potter from his Facebook profile and on January 27 the defendant was identified by the victim at a Viper procedure.

Passing sentence Judge Philip Gilpen said Potter got credit for his guilty plea, but said the offending was aggravated by the fact it had occurred in the victim's home where she should have been safe.

He said "what concerns me is the lack of empathy and remorse shown by you".

The judge said the custody threshold had been passed and he did not believe a community based sentence or suspended sentence would be appropriate.

He sentenced Potter to 14 months in prison with half in custody and half on licence.

He was ordered to sign the Sex Offender's Register for 10 years and observe a Sexual Offences Prevention Order for five years.

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