Jailed pensioner pleads guilty to further abuse charges

March 14, 2016

A Silverbridge pensioner, currently serving a five year jail term for the repeated and persistent abuse of his nephew over a four year period in the 1980s, has pleaded guilty to a further 30 charges related to the abuse of a second victim during the same period.

The 79-year-old farmer, branded a “sexual predator” during his previous trial in 2014, was handed an 18-month sentence at Newry Magistrates Court on Wednesday last, after pleading guilty to thirty indecent assault charges levied against him.

The sentence is set to run concurrently with his remaining jail term.

The man is also subject to a Disqualification Order, preventing him for working with children and a Sexual Offences Prevention Order, and will remain on the Sexual Offenders’ Register for 10 years.

Speaking to The Examiner after the latest sentencing was imposed, the pensioner’s nephew, against whom the accused was convicted of child sexual abuse in 2014, said he and his family are delighted the perpetrator “finally had to hold his hands up and admit his guilt”.

He spoke candidly about how his uncle’s persistent abuse of him as a child, and his continuous denial and lack of remorse, affected his entire life and had a significant impact on his relationship with his family.

Having read out his own victim impact statement to the court, he said: “Even though he was convicted by a unanimous jury in his first trial [in 2014] for offences committed against me, he showed no remorse and continued to deny his crimes.”

In 2014 the elderly farmer was jailed for five years, the judge branding him “a sexual predator” who had caused his young victim “a significant degree of harm” and concluding that he had expressed no remorse or given any insight into his conduct.

This latest trial and his admission of guilt represents justice for both victims, his nephew said.

“I had to endure ongoing claims that he was innocent, but now that he has admitted to carrying out the offences against [the second victim], we finally feel vindicated. The fact that he has finally pleaded guilty to the sexual abuse is justice for both of us and when he is released, at least people will know what he did, there can be no doubt about it any more,” he said.

The convicted sexual offender is set to be released in December this year, after serving two and a half years of his initial five-year jail term.

Although having admitted his guilt, and subsequent conviction, neither the perpetrator or his victims are named in this article to protect the identity of the victim in this most recent trial.