Man acquitted of assault over reaction to gay bar ‘bottom touch’

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A straight Derry man has been acquitted of assault after brushing off a man who touched his bottom in a gay bar.

A judge said that Christopher Brendan Thompson had been “establishing his straight credentials” when he pushed his face into the face of the man who touched him, the Belfast Telegraph reports.

Mr Thompson had been in Pepe’s bar and nightclub in the city last November. He claimed that another man reached out to touch his bottom as he was going outside for a cigarette and he reacted because the man was “ready to plant his lips on me.”

His solicitor Seamus Quigley said his client “had been “the victim of a sexual assault and he immediately turned around and rebutted that assault”.

He added: “He did so by pushing his face into the other man’s face. There was no blood, no injury, no bruising.”

The other man did not report the incident to police. Instead, an eyewitness contacted officers.

District Judge Barney McElholm said he accepted that Mr Thompson had been brushing the man off as footballers sometimes do.

He said the defendant had suffered an “initial assault” and the question was whether his response was proportionate.

“I accept it was proportionate in that I think Mr Thompson was establishing his straight credentials,” he said.

“It was not a case of him carrying out an assault, rather a brush-off.”