Sentencing adjourned in sexual assault case

Judge's court wig and hammer or gavel
Judge's court wig and hammer or gavel

The seriously-ill daughter of a man due to be sentenced for sexually assaulting a 20-year-old woman was “put out” of her Ballymena home earlier this year in case she allowed her medical condition “to somehow assist” in her father’s case, a defence lawyer claimed on Friday.

Neil Connor, QC, said 62-year-old Robert John Glass also had to flee his separate home, in Cullybackey, after it was set on fire by a “local paramilitary group”.

The claims came at Antrim Crown Court where sentencing on Glass - who sexually assaulted a woman as she lay asleep on a sofa on February 15, 2015, - was due to take place.

Judge Desmond Marrinan previously described the incident as a “pretty revolting” attack.

Mr Connor told the earlier hearing the attack was “opportunistic” and Glass regretted what he did and was deemed to be at a low risk of re-offending.

Mr Connor said Glass’s wife of over 30 years passed away in 2010 from cancer.

Sentencing was previously adjourned in October when it was heard Glass’s daughter was seriously ill in hospital.

At Antrim Crown Court on Friday, Mr Connor said she had been suffering from a serious infection of the heart but thankfully she has been discharged although “she is not out of the woods yet” and still requires medical attention.

He said Glass currently visits his “still very seriously ill” daughter three or four times a week in sheltered accommodation and if the defendant is jailed “any absence would hit her very hard”.

Mr Connor alleged that as well as being put out of her house in Ballymena’s Ballykeel estate, Glass’s daughter was contacted on Facebook and warned not to assist in her father’s case.

Judge Marrinan adjourned sentencing to December 15 to see if the Facebook claim could be substantiated and in the meantime remanded Glass in custody until then.