Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland pervert loses court battle over daughter (4)

A Northern Ireland man with "real and undisputed paedophile tendencies" has lost a High Court battle over his daughter being taken into care.

The convicted sex offender was appealing a ruling that he posed a real sexual risk to the four-year-old child.

But a judge confirmed she could have no confidence in him being a protective parent.

Mrs Justice Keegan said: "A court in the circumstances of this case is left with no option other than to look at a plan for care of this child outside of the family home."

The man, referred to only as DM, has convictions for a series of crimes including indecent behaviour and making and possessing indecent photographs of children.

He has repeatedly breached a sexual offences prevention order and been subjected to threats.

In 2009 DM and his wife were forced to sell their home due to intimidation in the area.

They had also allowed 14-year-olds to drink alcohol in their home, the court heard.

Within months of the couple's daughter being born in 2013 DM was jailed for exposure.

By that stage the relevant Health and Social Care Trust had added the baby to its Child Protection Register under the categories of potential sexual and physical abuse.

Proceedings were launched after the parents indicated that they no longer intended to adhere to a protection plan.

In 2014 the girl was taken into foster care, and a year later a judge sitting at the Family Care Centre made an order confirming those arrangements.

Based on the evidence he held that DM minimised his offending and breaches, describing him as "capable of distorted thinking and of a devious manipulative disposition".

The judge further found: "He harbours real and undisputed paedophile tendencies and on balance I am satisfied that those extend to children younger than 10 years of age."

Lawyers for DM appealed the verdict at the High Court, arguing that no reasons were given for a conclusion that he posed a real sexual risk to his daughter.

It was claimed that making the care order was "immoral, perverse and entirely unreasonable".

However, Mrs Justice Keegan ruled that the judge was entitled to reach his decision.

DM's assertions that he is no risk at all represents a fundamental problem with his case, she held.

Dismissing his appeal, the judge said: "In my view, the argument in this case is aimed towards DM achieving personal vindication rather than a full appreciation of the welfare of this child.

"The fact of the matter is that any court would validly consider that DM poses a risk on the basis of his past convictions and his breaches of protective court orders, in association with his lack of appreciation of the risk and his lack of a risk management plan and his lack of cooperation." ends

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