Paedophile who broke ban avoids a jail term
A category one sex offender who breached a ban on contact with children by giving a little girl an ice-cream has received a conditional discharge.
Thomas William McConnell was told that the terms would remain in place for 12 months.
After being sentenced at Belfast Magistrates Court, the 77-year-old pledged there would be no repeat.
"I shouldn't have done it," said McConnell outside the courthouse.
The pensioner, of Cliftonville Avenue in the city, pleaded guilty to breaching a sexual offences prevention order by associating with the child, aged as young as five. He told police she had followed him part-way into his flat to get the treat.
No details of the original offences which led to the order being imposed on him were disclosed, but under its terms he is prohibited associating with anyone under 18 unless approved by social services.