Belfast Telegraph

Pervert Omagh pensioner admits abusing of five boys

By Staff Reporter

A child abuser aged 75 has been given a three-year prison sentence, two to be served under custody probation.

The offences involved five boys intermittently between 1986 and 2007, who a judge said were "subjected to significant and persistant abuse".

Frank Mitchell of Dunbreen Close, Omagh, originally denied all charges against him, which comprised 11 counts of indecent assault and two of gross indecency.

However, after what's known as a 'Rooney Hearing' - which involves a judge giving an indication of sentence if the charges were admitted - Mitchell changed his plea.

Previously imposed reporting restrictions banning the publication of any details in the case were lifted at that point.

Offences occurred against one victim in 1986, followed by a second victim between May and October 1987.

The third victim was abused between 1987 and 1988, while the fourth relates to dates between 2000 and 2002.

Finally, the most recent offences occurred against a fifth victim from November 2004 until December 2007.

His Honour Judge Stephen Fowler QC adjourned the case for pre-sentence reports and medical evidence as to Mitchell's health.

On return to Dungannon Crown Court, the defendant appeared dressed in jeans and a grey fleece and leaning on a walking stick. He was carrying a holdall and a bag of medication.

Judge Fowler said: "There is no doubt the victims have been seriously affected, and were subjected to significant and persistent abuse."

It was accepted Mitchell is in considerable ill health, but was nonetheless found to present a medium risk of reoffending.

Handing down the three-year sentence, Judge Fowler said the first year will be served in custody and the remainder will be under supervision.

Mitchell is to complete all sex offender work deemed required by probation and comply with all recommendations of his designated risk manager.

Imposing a Sexual Offences Prevention Order to run until further notice, Judge Fowler said: "I am satisfied this is necessary to protect others from sexual harm."

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