Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 2 October 2014

Jail for elder who abused two young girls for decades

A disgraced former church sexton was last night jailed for 12 years after admitting he had forced two girls to endure decades of sick sexual depravity.

A disgraced former church sexton was last night jailed for 12 years after admitting he had forced two girls to endure decades of sick sexual depravity.

William James McKillop, from Islandboy Road in Ballycastle, pleaded guilty to two counts of rape and two of indecent assault against one of his victims.

The 66-year-old, who enjoyed a position of trust and respect for years as an elder at Drumtullagh Church in Mosside, also admitted three charges of indecent assault against his second victim.

Both women, now aged 48 and 54, fled Antrim Crown Court in tears while the court heard details of the abuse they endured which began when they were seven and eight years old.

McKillop originally denied the accusations, but on the first day of his trial he was re-arraigned and pleaded guilty to seven of the 23 charges before him.

Passing sentence, Judge David Smyth QC accused McKillop of indulging in years of "systematic abuse".

"This sentence will take away the enjoyment of a substantial part of your later years, but I am quite convinced that is effectively what you did to your two victims when they were children," he said.

Despite a public apology to the two women made by McKillop's barrister, Judge Smyth said: "There has been a failure on his (McKillop's) part to understand the damage this kind of behaviour can have on young women."





Gar McAtamney, director of sex abuse charity NEXUS, also welcomed the tariff. However, he added: "When is the Minister going to respond to the Justice for Attracta campaign and act with more than just words to abolish the halving of sentences?"

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