Belfast Telegraph

Paedophile Liam Adams 'does not pose a risk to public'

BY DAVID YOUNG

The paedophile brother of Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams should not be subject to lengthy sex offender supervision on his release from prison as he does not pose a serious risk to the public, his lawyer has urged.

Belfast Crown Court yesterday heard final legal submissions on the case of Liam Adams before judge Corinne Philpott com-menced sentencing deliberations.

Adams (58) from west Belfast, was convicted last month of raping and sexually assaulting his daughter Aine Dahlstrom in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Judge Philpott, who has already heard substantive pleas on mitigating and aggravating factors in the case, had sought information on potential monitoring that could be applied on release.

While probation authorities had already compiled a pre-sentence report, the judge asked the relevant probation officer to provide her views on whether a time-limited custody probation order or the potentially indefinite, sex offender specific Article 26 measures would be required.

The judge said she had now received the probation officer's addendum but would not read it until she heard final submissions.

Adams's barrister Eilis McDermott QC, arguing against Article 26 measures, said it was the defence's view that the probation report contained nothing that indicated Liam Adams would pose a serious risk on release.

Liam Adams, who is being sentenced under the terms of historic legislation that existed at the time of the offences, was not present for the hearing.

Judge Philpott told his solicitor to inform him that she had reached the point where she could start her deliberations.

"I am now adjourning to consider sentence and I will get it done as soon as I can," she said.

At a previous pre-sentence hearing, the prosecution urged the judge to send Liam Adams to jail for at least 15 years.

In mitigation, the defence highlighted the paedophile's health problems and claimed the conditions of his sentence were set to be "more onerous" than other prisoners due to fears for his safety.

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