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Sex offender released from prison on Friday back in court next day for allegedly groping police officer

Craigavon Area Hospital

A convicted pervert who was only released from prison on Friday was back in court on Saturday accused of groping a female police officer.

Appearing at Lisburn Magistrates Court by videolink from police custody, 48-year-old Brian Joseph McDonagh, who is also known as Bernard Thomas McDonagh, confirmed he understood the single charge against him.

McDonagh, from Sydney Lane in Aughnacloy, was accused of sexually assaulting the woman on July 16 this year.

Giving evidence to the court, Const. Lewis said he believed he could connect McDonagh to the offence while a prosecuting lawyer outlined how McDonagh has “an appalling record” so police feared he would commit further offences if freed.

She told the court how McDonagh was freed from prison on Friday and police had cause to speak to him after receiving a report regarding a male interfering with cars.

McDonagh had not been arrested and had not been handcuffed so as he had spent all his money on alcohol, the police decided to give him a lift home but the lawyer said when the defendant and the officer were in the back seat, he “groped the top of her thigh.”

“He has an appalling record and it’s clear that he has committed many similar offences,” said the lawyer.

Defence solicitor John Rocks told the court that McDonagh usually admits offences but in this case, he is “strongly denying this offence.”

He revealed that as a convicted sex offender, McDonagh has a designated risk manager so “there are people in the community who can manage him.”

He further revealed that McDonagh is awaiting sentence for three breaches of his Sexual Offences Prevention Order committee between June and September last year when McDonagh engaged in indecent behaviour in Craigavon Hospital, by being close to a children’s play park at Carnteel Road in Aughnacloy in August and
being within 50m of children in September.

Releasing McDonagh on his own bail of £250, District Judge Eamon King barred the creep from being drunk in public, that he must abide by the SOPO and observe a curfew.

His case was adjourned to August 13.

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