Belfast Telegraph

Armagh teen who raped boy (7) when aged 13 would have been jailed if he was older

Sean McCorry outside court yesterday
Sean McCorry outside court yesterday

By Paul Higgins

A Co Armagh teenager who raped a seven-year-old boy after watching pornography has been told that if he had been "more mature" he would have been jailed for seven years.

Lurgan teenager Sean McCorry can now be publicly identified as a rapist after his 18th birthday on Monday.

At Craigavon Crown Court yesterday, Judge Patrick Lynch QC sentenced McCorry to a three-year probation order, describing his crimes as "very serious charges, very serious incidents and the court cannot gloss over them".

Also ordering McCorry to stay on the police sex offenders register for two-and-a-half years and imposing a seven-year sexual offences prevention order (SOPO), the judge told him if he had been a "mature individual you would have been looking at seven years in prison or more" but that he had to take into account he was 13 at the time of the offences.

At an earlier hearing, McCorry, from Lurgan, admitted three charges of rape between January 10 and May 13, 2015, and one offence of sexual touching involving penetration.

Last Thursday, the court heard how the seven-year-old victim had been visiting relatives when he was twice raped in the back of a van and once in a shed in two separate incidents.

The boy reported what had happened to his mother and she alerted the police.

The incidents arose, the lawyer said, after McCorry had been watching "various videos" with his school friends.

He was arrested and questioned and while he initially gave "no comment" interviews, he later made admissions.

Defence QC Peter Irvine highlighted the fact the defendant was only 13 when the offences were committed and that he had no previous convictions, adding that his guilty pleas had spared the victim from having to testify.

He submitted that not only was the victim seen as very vulnerable because of his age, but there was a "clear suggestion" in the pre-sentence report that the defendant was also vulnerable because he was well below average intellectual ability with mild learning difficulties.

Revealing that the probation report had assessed the teenager as not posing a risk of harm to others, Mr Irvine concluded his plea in mitigation by telling the court McCorry is "extremely remorseful" for what happened.

Sentencing McCorry, the judge said the victim had attended counselling and had suffered a "profound and lasting trauma".

The judge told him that "the use of pornography may have had an impact on your offending" and that he had to consider the requirements for "the protection of the public".

As part of the seven-year SOPO, McCorry is:

  • prohibited from residing at any address or staying overnight without the prior approval of his designated risk manager;
  • to have no contact or communication with the victim or his family;
  • to have no unsupervised access, association or communication with anyone under 16 years old unless approved;
  • banned from entering into a relationship, intimate or otherwise, with any adult that affords him access to children without the prior approval of the risk manager;
  • prohibited from undertaking any activities which affords access to children without prior notification to and approved by risk manager; and
  • banned from having a mobile phone or sim card which is not registered and approved by his risk manager, and must make it available on request for inspection by a police officer.

The judge warned McCorry not to breach any of the conditions: "If, for example, you are found with a phone that is not registered you will be brought back to court and may be sent to prison for that."

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