Northern Ireland

Lisburn solicitor Chris Logue 'groped' woman lawyer, court hears

Newtownards court
Image caption The case was heard at Newtownards Magistrates Court on Monday

A solicitor was allegedly "out of control" when he is alleged to have groped another solicitor, a court has heard.

Chris Logue, 33, from Lady Wallace Crescent, Lisburn, County Antrim, is accused of sexual assault on 23 November last year.

The incident is alleged to have happened at a solicitors' function in a hotel in Newcastle, County Down.

The court heard the woman solicitor had felt "humiliated".

She said she was pestered, manhandled and groped for 10 or 15 minutes.

She told Newtownards Magistrates Court that initially she had kept telling Mr Logue to stop and "respect my space" in a polite way.

She said she had been "giving him a bye ball as he had had too much to drink" but when he would not take no for an answer she used strong language to tell him to go away.

The woman claimed that both she and another female colleague at the table told Mr Logue to stop, and kept slapping his hands away.

The judge heard that at one stage, the woman's son who was working at the hotel identified himself to Mr Logue in the hope of embarrassing him into stopping.

'Intoxicated'

He described Mr Logue's demeanour that evening as "arrogant and rowdy" and that when he moved to sit beside his mother, he saw her repeatedly pushing him away and telling him to stop.

Asked by a prosecution lawyer if he did anything about the alleged behaviour, the teenager told the court "yes I went over and put my hand on his shoulder and said 'that's my ma' thinking that he would be embarrassed and stop, but he "kept on doing it".

Under cross examination, it was suggested to the teenager that he could have gone to reception and reported the alleged behaviour to the manager.

However, he told the barrister that given it was a solicitors' function he "would have thought that they would have known what was right and what was wrong".

Later his mother said she had noticed Mr Logue earlier that evening as he was "intoxicated and loud" and that the first she had spoken to him was when he sat down beside her and made a derogatory comment about her salary.

She further claimed that Mr Logue also told her she was "very nice" and "suggested that he would like to 'enjoy me'".

The court heard that over the next 10 or 15 minutes, despite being told to stop and being forcibly pushed back, Mr Logue tried to hug her, touched her breast area, touched the top of her bottom, briefly "nuzzled" his face into her breast and at one stage, put his head in her lap.

She claimed that when he "tried to climb on top of me" she swore at him, but even then Mr Logue did not stop and at one stage he allegedly "lunged" at her from behind and received an elbow in the stomach.

Asked if that had any effect, she told the court "not particularly, despite my normal expectation".

She said she did not call the police to the hotel as it was not an emergency situation, she wanted to keep the reputation of County Down solicitors intact and that as he was drunk, it was possible Mr Logue would have caused a scene.

The woman solicitor claimed she did not report the alleged incident to police for another six days as she had anxiously considered the consequences of "putting my head above the parapet".

It was put to her that the defence case was that in those six days, she felt "annoyed and angry at the embarrassment" she had encountered, but that in no way was what happened an intimate sexual attack.

A defence lawyer suggested that she had misinterpreted Mr Logue's "loud and boisterous behaviour", but the woman solicitor refuted this, telling the lawyer she disagreed.

Describing Mr Logue's behaviour as that of an "eejit," the defence lawyer further suggested Mr Logue was "a nuisance and annoying but he wasn't a sexual predator".

The woman solicitor again responded that she disagreed.

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