Court in Ballymena hears man (19) accused of sexually assaulting two females at shops has been ‘attacked’

Ballymena Court

A MAN who is alleged to have sexually assaulted two females in shops has subsequently been attacked, a court in Ballymena heard on Monday.

Felician Farkas (19), with an address in the Fountain Hill area of Antrim, is charged with two counts of sexual assault – one at a charity shop in Antrim and the other at another shop in the town on Friday.

The defendant is also charged with assaulting the two females.

Farkas appeared before Coleraine Magistrates Court, sitting in Ballymena, with the assistance of a Romanian interpreter, via a video link from Antrim Police Station.

A police officer said he believed he could connect the defendant to the charges.

Opposing bail the officer said a woman was shopping in a charity shop when the defendant on three separate occasions touched her in a “sexual manner on her backside, on the third occasion grabbing her backside with both hands”.

The officer said police then received another report from a female who said she had been sexually assaulted whilst in another shop, alleging the defendant had struck her once with his hand on her “backside”.

The officer said Farkas was arrested and interviewed and admitted touching the first female “several times including touching her backside” but had denied it was intentional.

The policeman said the defendant did not deny touching the second woman but said it was “accidental”.

The officer said Farkas had originally ran from police and hid for 24 hours and he believed the defendant could be a ‘flight risk’.

The policeman said police were also “concerned for his safety”.

The officer said there had been comment on social media and the defendant and his family’s home had been attacked because of the allegations.

A defence barrister said during a police interview the defendant gave his own explanation for events on Friday.

The lawyer said there were potential bail addresses outside of Antrim, including in the Ballymena area, for the defendant who was originally from Romania and had been living here for a year working in factory production and was about to start work in the Ballymena district.

District Judge Liam McNally said they were “serious charges”.

He said the defendant had admitted that he touched the females but the issue was “intention”.

The judge said the defendant had no record here but said a record check from Romania was not yet available.

Judge McNally said Farkas could be granted bail and said concerns about where he would live could be addressed by the location being approved by police.

The defendant was given bail in the sum of £500 along with an independent surety of £1,000, and is to surrender his passport.

Farkas also has to report twice a week to police.

The case was adjourned to November 17 in Antrim Magistrates Court.

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