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Paedophile who got his 15-year-old victim pregnant handed six-year prison sentence

By Ashleigh McDonald

Published 23/06/2016

A "persistent paedophile" who got his 15-year-old victim pregnant has been sentenced to six years for sexual and violent offences against the girl.

Kenneth Rutherford will serve half his sentence in prison and half on supervised licence upon his release, after he admitted a string of charges linked to the girl.

Rutherford, from Derrycarne Road in Portadown, pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting her over a period spanning January 2006 to October 2007, assaulting her and breaking her ribs, and causing her to fear violence.

Belfast Crown Court heard that 49-year old Rutherford embarked on a sexual relationship with the then 14-year old, which resulted in her becoming pregnant aged 15.

At a previous hearing, the court was told by Crown prosecutor Kate McKay that Rutherford and the girl met through friends, and at that point he said he was 22 - but he was almost 40.

While she initially told him she was 18, it soon became clear she was underage - but he continued the relationship with her regardless.

Mrs McKay said that when the girl became pregnant with his child in September 2006, Rutherford "behaved towards her in a threatening manner, causing her to fear violence throughout that period, and in fact most of their relationship."

Mrs McKay said the victim, who is now 25, is "still very much suffering from the residue of this toxic relationship with this much older man".

Judge Kerr branded Rutherford a "persistent paedophile," and during yesterday's sentencing he said that after reading a probation report on Rutherford it was "absolutely clear that this defendant considers he is not fully responsible, and continues to blame his victim."

As well as being handed a six-year sentence, Rutherford was also placed on the Sex Offenders Register for life, and was made the subject of a 10-year Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO).

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