A 65-year-old undertaker was fined £600 today (Friday, June 23) at Craigavon Magistrates Court for a common assault on a woman
Ronnie Bullick, Newry Street, Rathfriland, had originally been accused of intentionally touching a female on August 14 last year and that the touching was sexual and she did not consent.
He denied this offence and at last week’s court it was indicated by the prosecution the allegation would be withdrawn and replaced with a charge of common assault on the same injured party.
Barrister, Mr Justin Byrne, representing Bullick, said he would plead guilty to common assault.
The public prosecutor said that on August 14 last year at 3pm the injured party alleged Bullick had put his hands on her shoulder, moving his head towards her and making contact with her hair.
Mr Byrne said his client was an undertaker and this happened in the morgue.
He added there had been no issues before or since this incident and the defendant would apologise. He had never been in court before.
Mr Byrne said that Bullick hoped this would be a one-off appearance in court and he knew the consequences if he had been convicted of the original offence.
“Hopefully he has learned his lesson,” he added.
District Judge, Mrs Bernie Kelly, said it was a case of ‘any woman is fair game’ and this was a ‘mindset that had been ingrained in him’ that women ‘were mere objects there to be used or abused in any set of circumstances’.
The judge added that it was a ‘difficult sentencing exercise’ because this took place in the work place but she would take into account that the defendant had no previous record and had pleaded guilty.
“It is almost unbelievable in the 21st century a man could think like this. I’m surprised his wife has not re-educated him over the years,” she commented.
She added that if men can’t drag themselves into the 21st century they should ‘simply retire and leave females alone’.
Imposing the £600 fine the judge also ordered Bullick to pay a £15 offender’s levy and added because there were no injuries to the victim there was no question of compensation.