Five years in jail for unrepentant Belfast paedophile who cruelly abused his own son and stepson
A 40-year-old man who sexually abused both his young son and stepson over a four-and-a-half-year period has been handed a five-year sentence.
The north Belfast man - who cannot be named to protect the identities of his two victims - has also been placed on the Sex Offenders Register indefinitely.
The abuser was informed he will serve half his sentence in prison, with the remainder on licence when he is released from custody.
Belfast Crown Court heard that despite being convicted by a jury on a total of nine charges against the two boys, the man maintains his innocence.
At yesterday's sentencing, Judge Stephen Fowler QC said that after reading victim impact reports, it was clear both of the man's victims has suffered a "significant degree of harm".
The 40-year-old stood trial on nine charges that spanned December 2006 to June 2011, when his son and stepson were aged between five and 10.
Despite denying he ever abused the youngsters, the man was found guilty by a jury in March on all nine counts of sexual abuse.
The jury heard that while one of the victims was not his biological son, he started a relationship with the mother when he was just three months old and that he brought the boy up as his own.
When the relationship between the man and the boys' mother broke down, he moved out.
The jury heard that the abuse occurred when the boys stayed over at his house.
Judge Fowler spoke of a number of aggravating aspects including the man's continual denials and the significant breach of trust.
He also spoke of the "significant harm" suffered by the two boys.
Judge Fowler said: "Only a custodial sentence can be justified."
Handing the man a five-year sentence, the judge also made him the subject of a sexual offences prevention order, which bans him from having any contact with his victims or their family, and from having any unsupervised contact with children.