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bad tackle Irish League footballer who flashed woman back in court over alleged drink-drive crash

Coleraine FC defender Aaron Canning exposed his penis at 57-year-old woman before asking 'if she would like some of it'

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Aaron Canning scores for Coleraine

Aaron Canning scores for Coleraine

Aaron Canning scores for Coleraine

A sleazy soccer star given a second chance after flashing his 'tackle' at a 57-year-old woman is facing the 'red card' after an alleged drink drive crash.

Coleraine FC centre-back Aaron 'Snowy' Canning will now be focusing on his own legal 'defence' as we can reveal the troubled 29-year-old has a date set for court on December 15.

Canning, who had been on loan at Dungannon Swifts this season, is suspected of being involved in an accident on the road between Limavady and Coleraine on Thursday afternoon.

He's not only accused of driving under the influence but also of driving without insurance and failing to report an accident.

If convicted of the charges Canning - regarded as one of the best defenders in the Irish Premiership - almost certainly faces the sack from Coleraine FC who have given him several chances to restart his career.

Coleraine sacked him when he pleaded guilty to a sordid sex offence in 2015 but re-signed him three years later, stating he had accepted full responsibility for the "difficulties of his past" and declared that he had taken steps to make changes in his life.

The club added that it felt he should be "offered an opportunity to rebuild his career".

But the troubled star's demons returned, and he was placed on the transfer list suddenly in September 2020 after it was reported he failed to turn up for a big European match against Motherwell.

The club helped him with his issues once again and he returned and played an outstanding spell for the club last season.

At the beginning of this season Canning messed up again when once again failed to turn up for a European match in July and he was loaned out to Dungannon Swifts.

We can reveal, though, Canning angered the Co Tyrone club after he missed a match three weeks ago.

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Sources in Coleraine say Canning has wasted his talent.

"He's one of the best players in the Irish League when he's on his game but he just can't get over his problems," said a source.

"The fans backed him because they were aware of his problems but they turned on him when he started messing around again."

Canning, a Northern Ireland under-19 international at the time, hit the headlines in September 2015 when he was sentenced to 18 months' probation and ordered to comply with a seven-year sexual offences prevention order (SOPO) after pleading guilty to exposing himself in October 2014.

Details of his behaviour were revealed in court which heard how Canning had approached the woman in his car on three separate occasions outside her home.

One the first occasion he approached her on the pretext of asking for directions as she left a nearby shop.

However, his actions soon turned sinister. On the second occasion he was 'fumbling' with himself. On the third occasion he pulled up alongside the woman and exposed his penis before asking her 'if she would like some of it'.

Sentencing Canning at North Antrim Magistrates Court, district judge Liam McNally said the player's "modus operandi" was to "target older women".

The judge said: "This is a very serious offence, that is why I asked you to read the victim impact report, so you know how much you have affected this woman's life.

"It is the court's duty to protect the women within my jurisdiction and as such I am imposing an 18-month probation order and placing you under a SOPO for seven years."

Warning the footballer about his future behaviour, Judge McNally added: "Mr Canning - use this as a red light to stop your offending.

"If you breach any of these terms or commit further crimes you will be sent to prison."

We revealed at the time how Canning had a notorious reputation for targeting older women and it wasn't Canning's first brush with the law concerning inappropriate behaviour involving older women.

We revealed back in 2015 how Canning had previously received a police caution for making 'dirty' phone calls to a 53-year-old woman.

Last night a police spokesperson told the Sunday World: "Police have charged a 29-year-old man with a number of offences including driving with excess alcohol in breath, using a motor vehicle without insurance and failing to report where accident occurred causing damage.

"He is due to appear before Limavady Magistrates Court on December 15. As is usual procedure all charges will be reviewed by the Public Prosecution Service."

steven.moore@sundayworld.com

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