Woman admits 'mistakes' in text messages and police statement over alleged Paddy McCourt sex attack

Former Northern Ireland international Paddy McCourt denies the charge.

A woman who claims she was sexually assaulted by footballer Paddy McCourt in a bar last year admitted she had made several mistakes about the alleged incident in a statement made to police and in text messages sent to friends.

Former Northern Ireland and Celtic FC player McCourt, 39, from Wheatfield Court in Muff, Co Donegal, denies putting his hand up the woman's skirt and touching her bottom.

The incident is alleged to have happened in the Bar 57 in Waterloo Street in the centre of Derry just after midnight on January 30, 2022.

During a contested hearing before District Judge Ted Magill at the Londonderry Magistrates' Court, the complainant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said the alleged incident occurred "when I was a bit tipsy, I'd had a few drinks" and she said it had left her both shocked and traumatised.

In her evidence she said she'd gone to the bar after having several cocktails in a friend's house and when in the bar she'd consumed several gins.

"I was just in the bar and I just felt someone put their hand up the rear of my dress and underneath my underwear," she said.

"I was really scared and in shock because you don't expect when you go out to a bar that someone would do that and I didn't give anyone permission to touch me in that manner," she added.

The witness said she turned and saw the defendant.

"I'd never seen him before or knew who he was," she told Judge Magill.

She said she went home and told her parents before calling the police.

She said she made a statement to the police later that evening and then made a second statement a week later in which she changed her mind about the timing of the alleged incident.

Cross-examined by barrister Eoghan Devlin, the witness said she'd mistakenly referred to "hands" rather than a hand touching her bottom in text messages she'd sent to her friends and made in her first police statement.

She also said she'd mistakenly texted her friends that "the bouncers were all over it immediately".

She agreed with Mr Devlin that it was also a mistake by her to have texted her friends "they full on dragged him out".

She said the CCTV footage from the bar did not show the bouncers acting instantly nor did it show the defendant being dragged off the premises.

The case was adjourned until next Wednesday.

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