Belfast Telegraph

Convicted Derry paedophile back behind bars for abusing boys in 1980s

A Londonderry man who admitted sexually abusing two boys during the 1980s was jailed for five years yesterday
A Londonderry man who admitted sexually abusing two boys during the 1980s was jailed for five years yesterday

By George Jackson

A Londonderry man who admitted sexually abusing two boys during the 1980s was jailed for five years yesterday.

Hugh Gerard Bradley (59), who is originally from Derry but whose address was given in court as Willow Crescent in Ballykelly, had pleaded guilty to abusing the two boys during a four to five-year period starting in 1983.

One of the victims was aged eight when Bradley started abusing him.

The second victim was in his mid-teens when the abuse was perpetrated against him.

Derry Crown Court was previously told that Bradley was a convicted child abuser.

In 1991 he was jailed for seven years for abusing three other children in 1989, one of whom was a 14-year-old blind and deaf boy.

Judge Elizabeth McCaffrey described Bradley's sexual offending as calculated, opportunistic, grave and prolonged.

She said the offending took place in the victims' homes, in Bradley's house and at outdoor locations such as football pitches, behind trees, at allotments and in greenhouses.

Bradley admitted a total of 11 offences, including indecent touching and sexual acts.

Judge McCaffrey told the court that one of Bradley's victims was, at the time of the abuse, a promising footballer who had ambitions to become a professional player.

On one occasion after Bradley had abused him he threatened to break his legs if he ever reported the abuse to the authorities.

He then gave his young victim fifty pence.

Judge McCaffrey said when Bradley was arrested and questioned about the allegations in 2016 he described them as "rubbish" and "payback".

On the morning of his trial last June he was rearraigned and admitted the allegations.

Judge McCaffrey said she took into consideration in terms of sentencing that Bradley's guilty pleas meant his two victims did not have to undergo the ordeal of giving evidence in open court.

She said one of Bradley's victims was abused sometimes up to three times a week.

The victim started to wear football shorts, which he tied tightly around his waist in an effort to prevent Bradley from sexually assaulting him.

Judge McCaffrey said it was clear that Bradley's offending had impacted detrimentally on his two victims, one of whom questioned his sexuality as a result of the abuse he suffered.

She said she was aware that Bradley's mental health had suffered "due to community intimidation due to people becoming aware of his previous convictions".

The judge added that the defendant now lived an isolated life.

Judge McCaffrey told Bradley that his offending had caused psychological damage to his two victims and had clearly passed the custody threshold.

As well as jailing Bradley for five years, Judge McCaffrey placed him on the sex offenders register for an indefinite period.

She also disqualified him from working with children and vulnerable adults, also for an indefinite period.

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