Lawyer claims jury “pressurised” into finding man guilty after weather warnings

June 5, 2019

Lawyers for a Donegal man jailed for indecently assaulting a babysitter almost 40 years ago have claimed the jury were “pressurised” into returning a guilty verdict.

Patrick Patton, of Cashelard, Ballyshannon, had pleaded not guilty to two counts of indecently assaulting the then 14-year-old babysitter in his home in July 1980.

Patton today launched an appeal against his sentence with his lawyer arguing the jury were “pressurised” into the verdict on a Friday evening when weather warnings were in place.

He pleaded not guilty to a third count of indecently assaulting another young female between June 1981 and August 1982.

A jury at Donegal Circuit Criminal had unanimously found Patton not guilty on counts two and three but returned a 10-2 majority verdict in respect of count one, following a four-day trial.

He was accordingly sentenced to 14 months imprisonment by Judge John Aylmer on April 4, 2019.

Patton moved to appeal his conviction today in the Court of Appeal where the judgment was reserved.

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