Northern Ireland

Brookeborough strong man found guilty of child abuse

David Parkinson exiting prison van
Image caption Parkinson, has now appeared in court four times on child sex abuse charges

A convicted paedophile has had his sentence added to after he was found guilty of sexually abusing two sisters.

Former Guinness Book of Records strong man David Parkinson, 68, from Main Street, Brookeborough in County Fermanagh, is currently serving 15 years for the rape and sexual abuse of three girls aged between six and 11.

On two new charges of indecent assault and one of gross indecency, he was ordered to serve a total of 3 years 6 months consecutive to his current 15-year sentence.

Omagh Crown Court Judge Geoffrey Miller QC told the paedophile he deserved the extra jail time for fighting the case and forcing his victims to give evidence.

Parkinson indecently assaulted the elder girl between May 1993 and May 1995, before abusing her younger sister between 12 November 1998 and 13 November 2000.

Jailing him, Judge Miller described Parkinson as "a serial paedophile who, until he was unmasked back in 2006, carried out assaults on numerous children".

"He used his personality and local celebrity as a strong man to provide cover for his vile predatory deeds, which served to destroy their innocence of childhood and wreak untold damage on his victims as they grew to adulthood," he said.

"The fact that the offending continued throughout the 1990s and right up until stopped in his tracks in 2006 only serves to underline the danger this man posed to young girls whom he befriended, groomed and abused."

He added that Parkinson's continual denials were a clear indication that he was still a risk and a danger.

Judge Miller said despite the submissions of defence lawyer Ian Turkington, he was not persuaded just to impose concurrent sentences for his current crimes which must be met with consecutive terms.

"The defendant had the choice to accept the allegations against him... he chose however to contest the charges and... forced each complainant to give evidence and to be rigorously cross-examined... He is not entitled in these circumstances to any credit whatsoever," said the judge.

'Frightened'

During the five day trial, the court heard one of the girls was just eight or nine when Parkinson performed a sex act on her and her younger sister recalled being frightened when he committed an act of gross indecency on her.

Despite his denials, a jury last week took just 15 minutes to unanimously find the strong man guilty of the three charges.

The court heard how the girls were taken to Parkinson's home by his then girlfriend Kathleen Elliott.

She had initially taken the older girl, now aged 25, along with another young girl to visit Parkinson.

The girl told the court she remembered being left alone with Parkinson while Elliott took the other child off to the shops.

Left alone and frightened with the strong man, she was sexually assaulted by Parkinson. On later visits, the abuse followed the same pattern, left alone, she would cry, while Parkinson abused her.

The court also heard that Parkinson would try to buy the silence of his victim, giving her money.

She was not sure if it was £20 or £30, but she said it was "a lot of money".

She thought it was in coins and when she got home, she and the other little girl would divide it between them.

Her sister, now 22, told the court that she first recalled meeting Parkinson when she was eight or nine and he was standing outside Elliott's house throwing coins.

"It was like a game," she explained. "Myself and other children were running around picking the coins up."

But the game soon took a perverse turn, with Parkinson sexually abusing the child, and again plying her with money, this time up to £50.

Parkinson, whose past strong-arm feats earned him a mention in the record book, has now appeared in court four times on child sex abuse charges involving a total of six young girls aged between six and eleven.

He is currently serving a 15-year sentence imposed in April 2009, for raping one young girl and sexually abusing two other girls, also sisters.