We found this one a little strange...

Former Worthing councillor cleared of sexual assault on baby

A FORMER Worthing Tory councillor who said he was homophobic and an alcoholic has been convicted of witness intimidation but found not guilty of sexually assaulting a baby.
At Oxford Crown Court on Friday (October 3), Mark McCarthy, a Worthing councillor until May 1 this year, was found guilty of making a threatening phone call with the intention of perverting the course of justice.

Later in the day, the jury returned a not guilty verdict on two counts of indecent assault on a child after deliberating for four hours and 40 minutes.

Unusual

Judge Anthony King reassured the 37-year-old, from Offington Drive, he would not be sent to prison for his crime, but urged him to begin addressing his alcohol problem, which was thought to be at the root of the trouble which brought him before the court.
He also hinted that alcohol abuse treatment was likely to be a central part of any future sentence.
Following the verdicts, Judge King said: "I think there are unusual circumstances in this case and a pre-sentence report would be helpful.

"One of the issues it should address is the abuse of alcohol."

Alcohol

He told McCarthy: "Unless something unusual happens between now and then I don't propose to pass a custodial sentence.

"I am concerned that you have to do something about your alcohol abuse."

During his trial, the court had heard McCarthy allegedly appeared to perform a sexual act on a baby boy, who was less than a year old at the time of the offences, between February 27 and December 31, 2002.
The court also heard McCarthy told the boy's mother he would publish naked photos of her in newspapers if she gave evidence against him.

Bizarre

The child's mother, who lives in Reading, but cannot be named for legal reasons, told the jury she had initially not thought of McCarthy's actions as sexual abuse but later realised she was wrong and gave a statement to police.

She claimed she witnessed McCarthy perform a sexual act and had given a shocked laugh at the time, but had only remonstrated with him when he repeated the bizarre assault a few weeks later.

She told him: "It's wrong, don't you ever do that again."
But he told her: "I only did it because it made you laugh the first time."

Angry

Before the trial got to court, the woman said she received a call from McCarthy himself, in which he said he had naked pictures of her.
Mr Alan Blake, prosecuting, said: "He said he was going to publish the pictures of her in the papers to prove he was not a paedophile."
Mr Blake said the mother had been "angry, worried and intimidated" by the call.
He said McCarthy knew she was a witness and said the "calls were clearly intended to dissuade her from coming to court".

Threats

The woman said she did get angry with McCarthy and told him: "You are sick, you are going to prison."
McCarthy did admit to the court he had threatened to publish intimate pictures because he was angry and "she was vicious, so I was vicious back".
The jury later heard from a woman who said she was an eye-witness to McCarthy's alleged assault on the baby.

Detective Constable Stuart May told the jury McCarthy was interviewed about the alleged indecent assault on November 9 last year in which he made no comment but handed over a statement which denied the "vicious allegations".

Inappropriate

He was later charged with indecent assault.

Det Con May said the former stockbroker was arrested again on March 7 this year and was later charged with witness intimidation.
In court, McCarthy admitted kissing the baby in an intimate place but denied it went any further, something he knew would have been inappropriate.
He told the jury he had asked a social worker's friend about what he had done and realised it was inappropriate.
Defending him, Lauren Soertsz, asked if it gave him sexual satisfaction, to which he replied "no".

Homophobic

McCarthy went on to tell the jury: "I am the most homophobic person out there."
The court heard McCarthy had been told: "In this current climate of people worrying about paedophilia, you really can't do it."
He had said he would never do it again.
During his emotional account of what happened, McCarthy mentioned a TV nappy advertisement which showed a mum kissing a baby's bottom.

Outcry

He told the jury: "If that had been a man, there would have been an outcry."
Asked by Mr Blake if he thought that was inappropriate, he said: "Yes, it must be, or I wouldn't be in this witness box now."
McCarthy said he had been unable to hold down a job since 2005 because he had been drinking too much.
Miss Soertsz asked if he would describe himself as an alcoholic, to which McCarthy replied "yes".

Sentencing

Judge King ordered the Probation Service to prepare pre-sentence reports on McCarthy.

He was told to return to Oxford Crown Court on October 31 to be sentenced.

Barnsley Nationalists

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