Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Killer’s appeal over abuse of girl fails

A man convicted of killing his son failed to have reduced a new jail sentence for sexually molesting his step-granddaughter.

The man, who cannot be named to protect his victim's identity, was ordered to serve extended terms of four-and-a-half and two years for a series of offences against the girl.

He pleaded guilty to a total of eight counts involving indecent and sexual assault of the child he was babysitting in 2008/9. The man challenged the sentence imposed on him in April because the trial judge failed to warn of her intention to depart from an assessment that he did not pose a significant risk of serious harm.

The Court of Appeal in Belfast heard how he was previously jailed for the manslaughter of his son, who was described at the time of his death as being grossly undernourished, neglected and physically ill-treated.

He was also later convicted of separate indecently assaulting two boys aged 11 and eight.

Although the man completed a sexual offending programme, he did not inform his grandchildren's mother of his past record.

During sentencing for the latest offences, the judge stated how he had become more daring in his behaviour. Ruling on the appeal, Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan said the trial judge had taken into account a probation service assessment that the man did pose a significant risk of serious harm.

“As a result of his previous probation work he was aware of the availability of assistance once he realised he was getting into difficulties but did not take advantage of it,” Sir Declan said.

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