Robert Politi (23) was ordered to serve half in jail and half on licence, but he has already been freed because of time spent on remand
Although Robert Politi was ordered to serve half in jail and half on licence by Judge Gordon Kerr QC, the 23-year-old has already been freed because of time spent on remand.
Politi, originally from the Wirral in north west England but whose address is given as c/o Thiepval Barracks in Lisburn, had been in custody since last Autumn as a result of multiple bail breaches and a warrant was issued for his arrest when he was a no show at court.
At one stage, Politi went AWOL “with a chick” and confined to barracks, he had tried to smuggle himself out of the Army barracks in the boot of his own car with a mate behind the wheel.
On the day his trial was due to begin earlier this year, he confessed to three counts of sexually assaulting the woman on 21 June last year.
Last Monday, Newry Crown Court heard that Politi was at a party and ended up in bed beside his victim who Judge Kerr said “was drunk and in essence, unconscious.”
“For whatever reason, but not for any lawful reason, he took advantage of that,” said the judge who outlined that Politi took off both his and the sleeping victims lower clothing before “grinding himself against her and touching her private parts.”
“This activity was seen by another lady who was there and she challenged him and as a result, he left,” said the judge.
Lodging his plea in mitigation, defence QC Dessie Hutton said the offence was “entirely out of character” for Politi whose time spent on remand in Maghaberry had been difficult as he had “the subject of abuse in prison.”
While he submitted that “there had been some encouragement” from the victim and that Politi had been “reckless” when he “misread the signs,” Judge Kerr was scathing and told the senior barrister “the gravamen of this case isn’t that he misread the signals, the gravamen of this case is that this girl was dead to the world and asleep when he did this.”
“He deliberately chose to sexually assault her when she wasn’t in a position to give consent, that’s intentional, not reckless,” declared the judge.
While prosecuting counsel Fiona O’Kane had applied for a Sexual Offences Prevention Order, and Hutton argued that was not necessary as Politi is a low risk of further offences and “there are no safeguarding issues.”
Although Judge Kerr declined to impose a SOPO, he did impose a restraining order barring Politi from contacting his victim and ordered him to sign the police sex offenders register for ten years.