Former housing association chief escapes jail over hotel spa sex act


The disgraced former CEO of a north Belfast housing association has escaped a jail sentence after he admitted openly performing a sex act in a busy hotel spa.

Downpatrick Crown Court Judge Piers Grant ordered 55-year-old Dermot Gerard Leonard to spend two years on probation and to complete 100 hours of community service.

Describing the incident as “sordid and unpleasant and a matter for which you should be utterly ashamed,” the judge told the married father of two “no woman should be exposed to this type of behaviour, absolutely no woman”.

Four days before his trial was due to start last month Leonard, from Ailesbury Crescent in south Belfast, confessed to a single count of outraging public decency at the Slieve Donard hotel in Newcastle on January 26 last year.

Mr Grant revealed that Leonard had been barred from the Slieve Donard, as well as every other hotel in the Hastings chain.

The judge also imposed a £750 compensation order, giving Leonard six months to pay.