Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

Shopkeeper abused girl (9)

Guilty - Ronald Smyth

This is the pervert newsagent who pleaded guilty to abusing a nine-year-old girl and has been warned by a judge that he will "almost inevitably" go to jail.

The trial of 68-year-old Thomas Ronald Smyth was due to start at Belfast Crown Court yesterday but his lawyer asked for him to be rearraigned and he pleaded guilty to seven charges of indecent assault and one of committing an act of gross indecency with a child on dates between October 1997 and October 1999.

As he entered his guilty pleas his female victim, who has waived her right to anonymity so the pensioner can be named and shamed, was comforted by her family.

Smyth, from Clare Heights in Ballyclare was released on bail and will be sentenced next month when victim impact and pre-sentence probation reports have been compiled.

Releasing Smyth after he had signed the police sex offenders register, Judge Philip Babington warned him that because of the nature of the charges a prison sentence would be “almost inevitable”.

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