Belfast Telegraph

Victims of former paedophile scout master Colin Finnegan welcome jail term appeal

BY JOANNE SWEENEY

Victims of former paedophile scout master Colin Finnegan have welcomed an appeal by the Public Prosecution Service over the length of his jail sentence.

Finnegan from Bessbrook, Co Armagh, was sentenced to 11 years in jail last November for a total of 59 sex abuse charges against four young boys over a 16-year period.

The appeal is set to be heard in Belfast High Court on February 7. A PPS spokeswoman confirmed it was appealing against sentence in terms of undue leniency.

She said: "The Director of the Public Prosecution Service, Barra McGrory QC, exercising his powers under the Criminal Justice Act 1988, has asked the Court of Appeal to review the sentence in this case on the grounds that it is unduly lenient."

The appeal to review the sentence comes within the 28-day time limit from the day the sentence was imposed.

It is further understood that Finnegan has not lodged an appeal against his sentence.

Yesterday, one of Finnegan's victims said he was "over the moon" about the news.

"The appeal is worth it even if Finnegan only spends one more day in jail," said the man, who asked not to be named out of consideration to his wife and young family.

"Someone like that should never be allowed out again. He was sentenced to 11 years as the judge felt that he had been young himself at the time and claimed that he too was sexually abused but when we added it up, it could have been 100 years for all the charges.

"But to be sentenced to 11 years and get out in five is not enough." He added that he and the other victims would have been more satisfied with a 19-year sentence.

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph