Northern Ireland

David Page jailed for sex assault on six-year-old girl

Craigavon courthouse
Image caption David Page, 42, refused to come up from his cell and enter the dock at Craigavon Crown Court in County Armagh, but the judge passed sentence in his absence

A convicted paedophile, who sexually assaulted a six-year-old girl while he was on probation, has been sentenced to three years in jail.

The child was walking to her friend's house when David Page assaulted her, Craigavon Crown Court was told.

Page, who refused to leave his cell and enter the dock throughout proceedings, was sentenced in his absence.

His address was given as Ventry Lane, Belfast, but he lived for some time in Albert Street, Lurgan, County Armagh.

In addition to the assault charge, Page was convicted of breaching a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) and his probation.

'Persistent offender'

The court heard that the attack took place at about 15:00 GMT on an afternoon last May.

His six-year-old victim had been making her way to a friend's house, which was about four minutes walk away, when Page stopped the girl and brought her into his house.

The girl's mother made a statement about the attack, which was referred to in court.

She said her daughter had changed from a happy-go-lucky child to an angry girl who said she should not have gone into Page's house.

Ahead of sentencing, the judge was told that the 42-year-old defendant was a persistent offender who had committed a string of sex offences since 1991.

The most serious of those offence was rape, for which he was sentenced to seven years in 1997.