Belfast Telegraph

Paedophile turned pastor Raymond Pulman attempted suicide after abuse revealed

A paedophile turned pastor tried to kill himself when confronted with his abuse, a judge has heard.

Downpatrick Crown Court Judge Brian Sherard heard that, after the suicide bid in August 2015, 58-year-old Raymond Pulman also confessed to his psychiatrist what he had done.

Pulman, with an address at Marler House, Barnett Close, Erith in Kent, later pleaded guilty to two counts of indecently assaulting his teenage victim on dates between January 1, 1999 and July 8, 2001.

Prosecuting lawyer Laura Ievers said the offences amounted to Pulman touching the girl’s private parts over her clothing as well as her bare leg on a number of occasions when she was between 12 and 14.

When he confessed his behaviour to his psychiatrist, the consultant alerted police and, during police questioning, he said he felt “considerable guilt” but blamed the Army “for exposing him to pornography.”

Describing himself as a “weak man,” Pulman claimed the then teenager had “flirted with him” before he touched her inappropriately.

When the victim was told about her abuser’s confessions, she described how it had “pulled the rug out from under her” but then made a formal complaint and gave an account which generally accorded with Pulman’s confessions.

The lawyer revealed that between two probation reports compiled on Pulman, he had admitted to seeking out indecent images of underage girls so, although he does not face charges in relation to that, the police were seeking a Sexual Offences Prevention Order.

Defence barrister Mark Barlow contended however that SOPOs could only be imposed when deemed to be “necessary and proportional”, labelling the prosecution application as “draconian”.

He said the former pastor had “retired from the ministry in 2011”, there had been no further offending and he did not have any contact with teenage girls.

Releasing Pulman on bail until May 8, Judge Sherard said he would hear further submissions before passing sentence.

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