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Man, 62, in court on sex assault charge

A 62-year-old man charged with sex assault told a court yesterday he was “high” on cannabis used to treat pain after surgery at the time of the alleged offence.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is accused of grabbing the buttocks of a 20-year-old woman and making lewd comments to her about her body.

But the defendant told Magistrates’ Court that his comments had been misunderstood.

He added that he suffered from depression and had been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder after the alleged incident.

The man said his mental health problems had been aggravated since being accused of the offences and that his life had become “a living nightmare”.

He aded: “My whole family has been affected by this.”

The man added: “My daughter suffers from anxiety – not directly as a result of this, but it hasn’t helped.

“It’s made her worse to the point where she’s moved away from Bermuda to the US.”

The man, from Sandys, pleaded not guilty to a sex assault on the woman and an intrusion on her privacy.

He told the court that the woman, now 22, was the daughter of a family friend and that he visited their Sandys home on August 22, 2018 to fix ceiling fans.

The man said he told the woman, who also cannot be identified, that there was once a rift between her mother and himself because he believed she had “a habit of distorting things and misrepresenting what someone could say”.

He added that he told the woman “for example, if I said 'you have the body of a tall slimmer model’ your mother would convolute that to ’I love your tiny t*****s’”.

The court heard that the man went to the alleged victim’s bedroom before he left the house and told her that her clothing was “completely see-through” as she went to open her window.

He said that he patted the woman on the back to let her know that he was leaving, gave her a hug and kissed her goodbye.

The man said that physical contact was normal between them and did not know that he had made her uncomfortable until he received threats over the internet from the woman’s sister.

He said: “Looking back I now believe that she does not understand what the word ’convoluted’ means and so the analogy completely went over her head.”

The man added: “On that day, between the depression and the pain from surgical wounds, sexual thoughts were the furthest thing from my mind.”

The man said that he had used medical cannabis and CBD oil to cope with the pain of surgery he had weeks before the alleged incident and was affected by the drugs when the offences were alleged to have happened.

Shaunte Simons, for the Crown, questioned how he could be sure of what happened if he was high at the time of the alleged incident.

She suggested that he had instead told the woman “I can see your a**” and grabbed her buttocks instead of her back.

But the man denied the accusation.

He said: “I have always remembered the incident, from being at the window to the time I left. Always.”

Ms Simons asked him if the alleged victim had consented to being touched and if he understood how his behaviour could have made a woman uncomfortable.

The defendant admitted that she did not consent to being touched and that he now understood how his behaviour could have caused alarm.

But he insisted that “it was normal practice for me to have physical contact with her when saying goodbye”.

Magistrate Craig Attridge adjourned the case until December 18 and extended the man’s bail.

•It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding criminal court cases. This is to prevent any statements being published that may jeopardise the outcome of that case.