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Fermanagh paedophile Liddle was on jetty 'looking at young girls'

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Charged: Robert Liddle

Charged: Robert Liddle

Charged: Robert Liddle

A convicted paedophile from Co Fermanagh has appeared in court charged with breaching a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) for the eighth time.

Robert Liddle accepted going to a jetty in Newtownbutler where children were swimming on Tuesday.

The 72-year-old, from Moorlough Road, Lisnaskea, accepted knowing he "was on very thin ice" by being at the scene.

A police officer told Dungannon Magistrates Court the charge could be linked to Liddle.

He said Liddle was observed by a member of the public who contacted police.

Liddle had arrived by car, then walked on the jetty, where he was "looking at girls aged 12-14, who were wearing bikinis". They were no more than the width of the jetty away from Liddle.

Police arrived quickly but Liddle had gone. He was arrested and said after caution: "I knew this would happen. I go to the jetty every Sunday."

Liddle then added: "I spoke to the children and now PSNI are here arresting me."

During interview, he claimed to have stopped at the scene after a trip out, drawing a sketch of the area and recounting what he saw in some detail.

Liddle described a young male child at the scene, and another "right lump of a cub" drying himself after exiting the water.

A female in a red bikini "stood out" and he believed her to be the daughter of a police officer.

He said the children "appeared to be about 10, 11 or 12. I don't think they were teenagers".

Opposing bail the officer said, "This is the eighth breach of SOPO. The defendant lives just under five miles from this jetty and knows it is used by children."

Liddle was placed under the SOPO in 1999 following a serious sexual assault on a child. Further offending has occurred and in 2019, the SOPO was varied to include a condition a banning him coming within 30m of any facility likely to be frequented by girls.

A defence barrister argued the crux of the matter is because Liddle "didn't remove himself quickly enough from the scene".

Bail was refused and Liddle will appear again by video-link at Enniskillen Magistrates Court later this month.

Belfast Telegraph