Northern Ireland

Paedophile jailed for 10 years for abusing children

A paedophile who abused seven children including his nieces, nephews and neighbours has been jailed for 10 years.

Belfast Crown Court heard the 64-year-old, who cannot be identified to protect his victims, was only caught when one of them tried to hang himself.

He pleaded guilty to 25 offences of indecent assault and gross indecency.

The offences were committed during two separate periods of offending.

The first dated from April 1971 until October 1979 and the latter from June 1995 to June 2004.

During his trial, the court heard that the man, who lived with his sister, abused the children who were at both primary and secondary school, when they came to visit her.

On Monday, Judge Corinne Philpott QC said the man had admitted to being "attracted to children" but that he had "significant mental health problems" and, according to a psychiatrist, may not appreciate the damage he has caused.

Judge Philpott said reports showed he presented a high risk of reoffending and that despite his learning difficulties, he would benefit from counselling to better understand what he had done.

As well as the jail term, the man was ordered to sign the police sex offenders register for life and given an indefinite Sexual Offences Prevention Order barring him from having unsupervised contact with children, working with children, visiting "child centred facilities," and from contacting his victims.