Former Bessbrook scout leader convicted of child abuse

October 21, 2013

A former Bessbrook scout leader has been found guilty of dozens of sexual abuse offences against young boys.

Colin Finnegan (44), now with an address at Sloan Hill Mews, Lurgan, has been convicted of sexually abusing five children at different times over a 15-year period.

He was unanimously convicted of a total of 54 separate offence, while in a further five offences, the jury returned majority guilty verdicts of 11 to one.

The 59 charges relate to his five victims and began with one unnamed boy in January 1982, who was abused while camping at Gosford, County Down. The indecent assaults continued for another two years, until the boy was 14.

Four of his other victims gave evidence of being abused by Finnegan in Bessbrook Scout Hall, his van or other vehicle, in fields, in a caravan behind his then home, and in derelict buildings.

The abuse took place while the boys were aged nine or ten until they were 14 or 15.

Finnegan has been warned he can expect to be jailed for the offences and he has been placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register ahead of his sentencing next month.