Paddy McCourt

Paddy McCourt

Ciarán Shiels, of Madden & Finucane Solicitors, is currently representing former professional footballer Paddy McCourt. The case continues at hearing and will resume at 10AM on Wednesday 31st May 2023.

A woman who claims she was sexually assaulted by former Northern Ireland international Paddy McCourt has admitted she made several mistakes about the alleged incident in a police statement and in text messages she sent to friends.

Mr McCourt has denied putting his hand up the woman’s skirt from behind and touching her bottom.

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

During a contested hearing before District Judge Ted Magill at the Bishop Street Magistrates Court in the city, the complainant said the alleged incident occurred “when I was a bit tipsy, I’d had a few drinks”.

The woman, who cannot be identified to protect her anonymity, also said it had left her both shocked and traumatised.

In her evidence she said she had gone to the bar after having several cocktails at a friend’s house and when in the bar she 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 former Celtic and Derry City footballer Mr McCourt.

“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.

The woman made a statement to police later that evening and then made a second statement a week later in which she changed the timing of the alleged incident.

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

She also said she mistakenly texted her friends that “the bouncers were all over it immediately”.

The woman also 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 trial continues.

Belfast Telegraph