A 32-year-old Lithuanian man was given a four month suspended jail term after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting a nurse at Craigavon Hospital.
Audrius Lauruska from Cloneen, Dungannon was accused of squeezing the nurse’s buttocks during an incident at Craigavon Hospital on January 30 this year.
Initially Lauruska, who is a welder by trade, claimed he had accidentally brushed passed the nurse who was on duty, however, he later admitted grabbing her.
Craigavon Magistrates Court heard that on that night Lauruska had taken an epileptic fit. He had been on prescription medication and had been told not to take alcohol but he had not complied.
His defence solicitor told the court that Lauruska had cooperated fully with the Probation Service since the incident.
The court also heard that the defendant’s father had died and since then he had been drinking quite heavily.
“He has apologised for his actions and has apologised to the victim,” said the defence solicitor. The advocate also said his client was aware that the victim had been at the hospital to help people.
The court heard that while it happened in a hospital and happened to a care worker and the injured party was someone providing medical help, the incident was a single, isolated incident.
Judge Mervyn Bates said the charge of sexual assault deserved a custodial sentence because of the aggravating factors and ordered that Lauruska be sentenced to four months in jail, suspended for two years.
Judge Bates said it was an ‘out of character’ offence and because of the defendant’s limited income, the victim should be compensated £200.
“I recognise that this is frowned upon when it takes place in a hospital and takes place against a nurse,” said Judge Bates.
Lauruska will also be required to sign the sex offenders register for five years.