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Mickey Harte Provides Character Reference For Tyrone Man Guilty Of Sexual Assualt

Mickey Harte Provides Character Reference For Tyrone Man Guilty Of Sexual Assualt
By Donny Mahoney Updated

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte isn't a man for keeping his head behind the parapet. He's lent his voice and public profile to the pro-life and pro-Quinn movements in recent months. Yesterday, as the Irish Independent report, at the Derry crown court, he provided a character reference for a certain Ronan McCusker.

McCusker is a 27-year-old who on June 28, 2010, took his father's van without permission, even though he was uninsured on the vehicle and had been disqualified from driving, attended a Cemetery Sunday service, consumed something in the range of 30 serving units of alcohol, sexually assaulted a 47-year-old woman he met at a bar and physically forced her from his father's van on the Ballymulligan Road near Magherafelt and left her there 'in a state of nakedness'.

For the defense, barrister George McCartney said of Mickey Harte's character reference: "This is a man who is one of the most successful managers in GAA history and this is a man who is no stranger to sorrow and to terrible tragedy," said Mr McCartney.

"Yet because of his knowledge of this young man and of his family, he has submitted a character reference."

McCusker comes from a 'widely-known' GAA family in Tyrone. He will be sentenced Thursday.

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