Belfast Telegraph

Court hears abuser had been jailed for earlier offences

Judge McCaffrey said she would sentence Bradley on September 27 and remanded him in continuing custody until then (stock photo)
Judge McCaffrey said she would sentence Bradley on September 27 and remanded him in continuing custody until then (stock photo)

By George Jackson

A man who yesterday admitted 11 charges of sexually abusing two boys 35 years ago had already served a jail sentence for abusing three other children, including a 14 year-old blind and deaf boy, a court has heard.

Hugh Gerard Bradley (59), who is originally from Londonderry but whose address was given as Willow Crescent in Ballykelly, was jailed for seven years in 1991 for sexually assaulting two brothers and their sister in 1989.

At Londonderry Crown Court yesterday, Bradley admitted sexually abusing two other boys, one of them a brother of his 1989 victims, over a four-year period starting in December 1983.

A prosecution barrister told Judge Elizabeth McCaffrey that the abuse took place in the victims' family homes, at football pitches near their homes, at a garden allotment, behind a tree and in greenhouses.

She said in the previous case, one of Bradley's victims was a 14-year-old blind and deaf boy whose brother watched him being abused before Bradley then abused him.

The prosecutor said Bradley told one of his young victims, who enjoyed playing football, that he would break his legs if he told anyone about the abuse.

Defence barrister Seamus McNeill said Bradley was remorseful for his offending and had told his probation officer he wished he could turn the clock back.

Mr McNeill said Bradley said he too had been abused as a child and believed that abuse had a certain degree of influence on his own abusive behaviour.

Mr McNeill said there had been a number of incidents involving Bradley since his prison release in June 1994.

On the day of his release the mother of one of his 1989 victims, who was accompanied by two men, was outside Magilligan Prison on Bradley's due date for release. There she told a prison officer that "she would get him".

In 2002 the police received intelligence from "an untested source" that Bradley was under a death threat made against him by a paramilitary group.

Mr McNeill said in July 2015 one of Bradley's victims had confronted him and pulled him from his car and kicked and punched him to the ground. The barrister said Bradley did not make a statement of complaint to the police about the incident.

Judge McCaffrey said she would sentence Bradley on September 27 and remanded him in continuing custody until then.

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