Man has to remain in custody despite being cleared of sexual assault

First published in News

A MAN will remain in custody despite being cleared of hitting and sexually assaulting a woman.

The jury in the trial of John McHale at Teesside Crown Court took two hours to deliver not guilty verdicts in respect of charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and assault by penetration.

He smiled as the verdicts were announced, thanking the judge and jury, while his mother in the public gallery wept.

However, he was unable to leave the court a free man and was remanded back into custody. This was because his barrister, Katie Rafter, said he faced an entirely separate allegation of assault involving his brother-in-law.

The 40-year-old defendant, of Millfield Road, Fishburn, County Durham, had been accused of punching the alleged victim, grabbing hold of her hair and pushing her onto a sofa, and then putting his hand down her trousers.

The woman said she had been left in excruciating pain, having been winded by the punch, and felt horrible after the alleged sex assault.

Mr McHale insisted in his evidence he did not hit or touch the complainant in the fashion suggested and described their encounter on November 24 last year as a case of “six and two threes”.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree