A child killer who served a life sentence for murdering a 13-year-old girl has been sentenced for sexually abusing two youngsters.
Speaking after James Junior McKinstry Craig was handed a 30-month sentence for historic sexual abuse, one of his victims said: "He’s dangerous and I’m glad he won’t be out of prison for a while. That means he can’t hurt anyone else."
Craig stood trial at Belfast Crown Court earlier this year, accused of sexually abusing two young girls in the late 80s and early 90s.
Despite his denials, he was convicted on charges of gross indecency and indecent assault against the victims, who were between the ages of five and nine when the crimes were committed.
He appeared in court via videolink on Friday to be sentenced by Judge Stephen Fowler QC.
The Belfast Recorder noted Craig had served a life sentence for murdering Sonia Forsythe, and that he sexually abused one of his victims in the flat where she was killed.
He was handed a 21-year sentence in September 1998 for murdering the 13-year-old, who went missing from the Shankill area of Belfast in June 1991.
After beating the schoolgirl to death with a poker in his Sydney Street West flat, Craig hid her body in his coalbunker for almost five years, before her remains were discovered by workmen in April 1996.
He was living on licence in Portadown when the historic abuse allegations emerged.
As a result, he was recalled to jail and remained on remand until his trial earlier this year.
As he sentenced Craig for the sexual abuse, Judge Fowler said Sonia’s murder and the abuse of one victim "occurred within a relatively short timeframe".
This, the judge said, indicated the defendant "had a sexual interest in female children".
During the trial, the first victim, who is now 40, recalled how Craig told her: "If you do this, I’ll give you money for ice cream."
The paedophile abused his second victim, who is now 38, in his flat and car.
Speaking after he was jailed, she said: "I don’t know the system that well, but I’m glad he got 30 months and he won’t be out for a while yet.
"A leopard doesn’t change its spots. He knew what he did to me and the other girl, yet he didn’t admit it. Instead, we had to give evidence in court.
"He has shown no remorse. He has shown no sympathy. He’s just vile. I honestly believe he is a danger to any child he comes into contact with.
"When the jury came back with their verdict, I looked him straight in the eye.
"During the trial, there were times when I just couldn’t look at him, but on that day I looked him right in the eye, and it was him who turned his head.
"I think he thought he was going to get away with it, what he did to me all those years ago, but he didn’t.
"I’m not a scared wee girl anymore. I’m a grown woman. What he did to me when I was a child has ruined my life, but no more. He can’t hurt me anymore. I just hope he doesn’t hurt any more children."
As well as being handed a 30-month sentence, Craig was made the subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order and was placed on the sex offenders’ register for an indefinite period.