A 38-year-old alcoholic who admitted sleeping with a schoolgirl has been jailed for 18 months and put on the sex offenders' register for 10 years.
Belfast Crown Court heard that Trevor Madden had been charged with raping the 14-year-old he'd befriended, but the charge was reduced to indecent assault because of evidential difficulties.
However, the guilty plea of Madden, from York Drive, Belfast, was on the agreed basis that he had had sexual intercourse with the youngster after both of them had been drinking.
The court also heard that after the matter came to light in April 2008, Madden was the victim of a stabbing and could not be interviewed by the police service for three months.
Defence QC James Gallagher said that “on the day these offences occurred he was drinking substantially and his judgment was clouded by the alcohol he had taken”.
He added that when questioned by police Madden was “afraid at interview to admit what he would have admitted”, because of the knife attack on him.
Jailing him, Judge Tom Burgess said he accepted the legal background to the charge and the statutory reasons behind it and the basis of Madden's plea to it.
He added that while there was “no excuse whatsoever in entering into any sexual relationship with such a young girl”, Madden had “expressed his remorse and accepts his actions were totally wrong and inexcusable”.
The judge said that Madden was entitled to substantial credit for his guilty plea and it had also saved his victim the ordeal of having to give evidence.