Belfast Telegraph

Pervert fled after being confronted by girl’s mother

A sex offender who organised to meet a 15-year-old girl after grooming her for sex fled the scene when confronted by the girl’s mother, a court heard.

Bernard Hassard (46), a former shop assistant from Irvinestown Road in Enniskillen, ran away when the girl turned up at their arranged meeting point with her mother.

Omagh Crown Court heard that Hassard had also invited a 13-year-old girl on a “blind date” after telling her that he loved her.

Hassard had contacted both girls by mobile phone and sent them several texts between October 15 and 26, 2010.

When he was arrested, police found him to be in possession of 48 mobile phones.

Hassard pleaded guilty earlier this week to sexually grooming the two girls with the intention of committing a sex offence.

He was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, but due to time spent on remand it is understood that he could be released within days. He will then spend 12 months on licence.

A prosecution barrister told the court that the 15-year-old girl received a text message on October 15, 2010 that stated: ‘What are you doing? Are you going out tonight?’

The person sending the text said his name was Bernard and he was from St Joseph’s College in Enniskillen.

The girl was in a car with her mother when Hassard texted her to ask her to meet him at the Fire Station in Enniskillen.

Her mother drove her to the station and confronted Hassard.

She told him that he had been texting a 15-year-old girl and he then fled the scene.

The court was told Hassard had also texted a 13-year-old girl and had claimed that he was 15.

He told her that he loved her and wanted to be with her, and asked if they could meet up.

The girl agreed to meet him, but when she arrived at an arranged location she saw an older man.

She ran away and police were informed. Police discovered that the phone used to contact the girl was registered to Hassard.

Judge Melody McReynolds banned Hassard from having contact with the two girls or unsupervised contact with any child.

He was also prohibited from loitering within 50 metres of a “child-centred location”.

He is further banned from having more than one mobile phone and must sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years.

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