Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Cabin Hill Prep: 'Ongoing investigation' into allegations of rape and sex assault between boys at school, judge hears

By Paul Higgins

Published 18/06/2015

Police are conducting an
Police are conducting an "ongoing investigation" into allegations of rape and sex assault between boys at top Belfast school Cabin Hill Prep, a judge has heard

Sex abuse police are conducting an "ongoing investigation" into allegations of rape and sex assault between boys at top school Cabin Hill Prep, a judge heard today.

The revelation came at Downpatrick Crown Court as defence QC Kieran Mallon pleaded with Judge Brian Sherard to treat the case against a 28-year-old internet pervert as unique and "exceptional."

The lawyer said while the Belfast man accepted what he did in distributing an unknown number of child abuse images and downloading "in excess" of 11,000 photographs and movies was "base and vile," what had allegedly happened to him as an eight-year-old boarder was equally base and vile and was the "genesis" for him seeking out images of child pornography.

It was while giving evidence to the court of how the pervert had been "open and honest" in the investigation that Detective Constable McConnell revealed that as a result of the defendants allegations, "I can confirm that they are the subject of an ongoing police investigation" and it was confirmed later that the 28-year-old is one such complainant in that investigation.

Back in 2005 a report published by the Department of Education catalogued a history of mismanagement relating to allegations of sexual abuse against young boys at the east Belfast boarding school which is a feeder school for Campbell College.

The report detailed how one boy, a dormitory prefect, had abused several boys in 1992 and 1993 and the perpetrator was given a formal police caution in 2002.

At court today (thurs) Mr Mallon revealed how the defendant had claimed he had been repeatedly subjected to bouts of rape and sexual abuse by an older boy for around 18 months from the age of eight, adding that it was a case of the "corrupted becoming the corruptor."

Earlier, Judge Sherard heard how cops raided the defendants home in May 2012 when they suspected him of distributing child porn.

Prosecuting lawyer Laura Ievers said officers seized numerous computers and storage media but due to "constraints on time and resources," they had only examined two computers from which they took "dip samples."

She told the court how amongst those dip samples, officers from the PSNI E-Crime unit had uncovered a total of 11,604 images of both still photographs and movie files and that included in the total were more than 3,000 still image and over 500 movies at the most heinous levels of four and five which depict acts of penetrative sex.

As well as the images, cops had also uncovered that since 2006 when he began to gather his collection, the defendant had used search engines to actively seek out images.

Ms Ievers described how the ages of the children depicted in the images ranged from "babies to prepubescent children," adding that in many of them, there was "evidence of pain and distress" on the children's faces.

As well as downloading the huge cache of indecent pornography, the lawyer told the court how there was also evidence that the defendant had distributed many of the images to others.

Arrested and interviewed, the 28-year-old admitted that he had been distributing the images "for around four years" but could not guess at how many he had disseminated to other perverts.

Ms Ievers agreed with Judge Sherard that while the defendant had used file sharing sites to swap the sickening images, what he had done in actively distributing them to others was "something over and above" mere swapping.

In addition to the images, the court heard there were also chat logs where the defendant had talked about his fantasies of sexually abusing a young family member but during police questioning, while he admitted he had written the fantasy it was just that and not something he had acted upon.

Both Mr Mallon and Mrs Ievers said police investigations had not uncovered any evidence of the defendant having committed a "contact offence."

During his arraignment earlier this year, the 28-year-old pleaded guilty to a total of 28 offences including five of distributing indecent images, 19 of making and possessing indecent images, two of possessing extreme pornography relating to adults having sex with animals and two further counts of possessing prohibited images of kids, all of which occurred on various dates between 11 August. 2006 and 5 May 2012.

Mr Mallon revealed that in that time, the defendant had sought out and completed a course of counselling to address the issues why he sought out the images, adding that although held in Surrey, he had paid for it himself.

Describing how his client had been looking for images akin to what he had allegedly endured, the senior lawyer baldly stated that "the thrust of my plea is to seek to persuade the court this is an exceptional case," declaring that given what he had endured, it was "no surprise" he was found with the indecent images.

Mr Mallon said while there were numerous aggravating features to the case, it was also "pregnant" with mitigation including his openness, cooperation and honesty with investigating police, his real and genuine remorse, his clear record, the alleged abuse he suffered and the fact that he had tried to address the riot cause of his offending himself.

Releasing the Belfast man on continuing bail, Judge Sherard said he wanted to reflect on the submissions and various reports in the case and would sentence early next month.

He warned the 28-year-old however the fact that he was being released "is no indication" to the potential sentence.

Online Editors

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph