Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

TUV refuses to say when paedophile David Tweed will be expelled

David Tweed
David Tweed playing rugby for Ireland in 1995
Black man: David Tweed with his preceptory in Ballymena

The TUV has refused to state how long it will take for paedophile David Tweed to be kicked out of the unionist party.

Ballymena councillor Tweed is facing a lengthy prison sentence after being convicted of sexually abusing two girls.

The disgraced 53-year-old joined the TUV in November 2010 but his membership was put on hold when he was charged.

Last Wednesday a jury found him guilty of 13 sex abuse charges over an eight-year period.

Although Tweed remains suspended from the TUV, it confirmed yesterday that he has not yet been expelled. A spokesman said there were “processes” which had to be gone through before an expulsion could be finalised.

Asked if the process could take weeks or months, the spokesman was unable to comment.

Ballymena Borough Council has already said no decision on expelling Tweed would be taken until he is sentenced.

“We will be considering this matter in conjunction with relevant electoral legislation; but no final decision can be made on the matter until the exact sentence is known,” a spokeswoman said.

Tweed’s estranged wife Margaret has described how she lived in fear of the former Irish rugby player and recalled the horror of their 23-year relationship.

Margaret met Tweed in 1984 and the couple were married six years later.

Speaking from the Ballymoney home she once shared with the paedophile, she claimed that in the two decades they were together before he left thehome in 2007, she endured beatings from him.

Margaret told how Tweed even threatened her with paramilitaries.

“He always had a temper — always,” she told the Sunday Life.

“At times you would be walking on egg shells. The beating with me started from the year dot — he would beat me black and blue.

“I would never hit him back — that would have made things worse. I did leave him many times but he’d always bring me back.

“Once he threatened me with paramilitaries.”

A jury convicted Tweed on 13 counts of child sex abuse, and cleared of one count of indecent assault. Judge Alistair Devlin told Tweed his crimes were “vile, wicked, dastardly and distasteful” and would be treated very seriously.

He will be sentenced in the new year.

Margaret is relieved that Tweed is now behind bars.

“Justice has been served.”

Profile

David Tweed made his Ireland debut against France in the 1995 Five Nations tournament. Later that year he won another three Irish caps. His staunch unionist views made him a divisive and controversial presence for Irish fans. He joined the TUV in 2010. Tweed was outed as a sexual predator after the Belfast Telegraph successfully overturned a court order banning media identification.

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