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Unrepentant paedophile who abused girl (13) as they watched TV is caged

By John Cassidy

Published 11/07/2015

A Co Antrim man who sexually assaulted a teenage girl as they watched the aftermath of the 7/7 London bombings on television was jailed for 18 months yesterday
A Co Antrim man who sexually assaulted a teenage girl as they watched the aftermath of the 7/7 London bombings on television was jailed for 18 months yesterday

A Co Antrim man who sexually assaulted a teenage girl as they watched the aftermath of the 7/7 London bombings on television was jailed for 18 months yesterday.

Hugh Morrow (58), of Maralin Gardens, Lisburn, was told he will spend a further two years on probation following his release.

He was found guilty by a jury at Belfast Crown Court in February this year of indecently assaulting the 13-year-old girl and also committing an act of gross indecency with the victim.

Prosecution lawyer Tessa Kitson told the court that the offences took place on July 7, 2005, at a house in Lisburn.

She said that Morrow was sitting watching television about the 7/7 bombings in London when the girl came in and "he asked her to sit down beside him on the sofa''.

Ms Kitson said that while they were watching the television Morrow sexually assaulted her for several minutes.

The prosecutor said there were a number of aggravating factors including the victim's age at the time, and "there was a certain degree of planning'' to the offences.

She added that despite being found guilty by the jury, Morrow "still denies the offences''.

Defence QC Eilis McDermott said father-of-three Morrow suffered from a number of medical and mental conditions including heart problems and was taking 28 tablets a day, and "he would find prison a struggle''.

Ms McDermott said Morrow was not assessed as posing a serious risk of serious harm to the public and was regarded as a medium risk of reoffending.

Passing sentence, Judge Gordon Kerr QC said one of the main aggravating factors was the age difference of 35 years between the victim and the defendant.

Morrow was placed on the sex offenders register for a period of 10 years, but was not placed on the barred list for young people and vulnerable adults.

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