In May, the 39-year-old was found guilty of sexually assaulting a woman in a bar in the centre of Londonderry last January by reaching under the woman’s skirt and touching her thong.
Following a two-day trial at the Derry Magistrates’ Court, District Judge Peter Magill convicted the father of three, from Wheatfield Court in Muff, Co Donegal, sentencing him to three months imprisonment, suspended for two years.
He was also placed on the Sex Offenders Register for a period of five years.
Mr McCourt made 18 appearances for Northern Ireland between 2002 and 2015. His club career included spells at Celtic, Derry City and Glenavon.
In a statement, Madden & Finucane Solicitors confirmed the footballer will launch his appeal today.
“Today marks the commencement of a two-day appeal against conviction in respect of our client Patrick McCourt.
“This will involve a full re-hearing and a close forensic examination of the evidence that was given in the lower court as well as the reasoning of the magistrate in his judgment convicting Mr McCourt,” said Mr McCourt’s solicitor Ciarán Shiels.
“Our position is that a grave miscarriage of justice occurred in Derry District Court earlier this year. This situation requires the courts to urgently correct this position.
“Extremely serious allegations will be made in respect of the conduct of the PSNI in relation to this case.
“We will contend that Patrick McCourt was not investigated in relation to an allegation of sexual assault.
“We will be submitting to the court that Patrick McCourt was treated entirely differently to any other suspect or defendant appearing before our courts and that he personally was actively targeted, and thereafter, single-mindedly pursued by the Police Service of Northern Ireland for conviction.”
Mr Shiels added that it is his contention that the injured party in the case was indeed “a victim of sexual assault” but Mr McCourt “did nothing to deserve or provoke what happened to her”.
In his direct evidence, Mr McCourt said he had gone out on the night with friends and had drinks in several bar but denied touching the complainant in a sexual manner.
He said he believed her when she said she had been sexually assaulted “but it was not by me”.
However, Mr Magill said the CCTV footage showed that the man’s actions were not consistent with the defence suggestion.Tags: