Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland man jailed for sexually assaulting son loses appeal

Appeal judges also set out how two different partners claimed he tried to
Appeal judges also set out how two different partners claimed he tried to "corrupt" them so that he could molest young children.

By Alan Erwin

A Northern Ireland man jailed for sexually assaulting his two-year-old son admitted "normal sex did nothing for him", a court has heard.

Appeal judges also set out how two different partners claimed he tried to "corrupt" them so that he could molest young children.

Details emerged as the man, who cannot be identified, lost his challenge to being found guilty of abusing the boy.

In September last year he was convicted at Newry Crown Court on one count of sexually assaulting a child and sentenced to five months in prison.

The offence was said to have been committed in 2011 while he babysat his son, given the pseudonym of 'Jack'.

At the time the man, referred to as QD, was living apart from the boy's mother.

She claimed that when she returned home Jack described being sexually assaulted by his father.

When she challenged QD he allegedly stated: "You knew who I was, it was not going to change, and if you accept that we would be together."

According to Jack's mother this was a reference to discovering child pornography on QD's computer.

The Court of Appeal heard he "admitted that he had been watching the images, explaining that normal sex did nothing for him".

No report was made to police at the time, with the boy's mother claiming she was frightened of QD.

But in 2015 another woman who was living with him in England alleged to police that he had used her laptop to show her pornography involving young children.

In her statement she described how he had told her "these are your choices" and asked if she would have a child with him so they could have an "open" family.

The woman said she understood this to mean starting a family where he would be able to sexually abuse their child.

He also allegedly told her he had had sex with his son, the court heard.

Although a charge of rape of a child was withdrawn, QD was found guilty of sexual assault.

He maintained that no offence had been committed and launched a bid to have his conviction overturned.

Defence lawyers centred grounds of appeal on the admission of hearsay evidence from Jack's mother.

They also claimed there were flaws in the directions to the jury about the evidence of the second woman who lived with their client in England.

But dismissing the appeal, Lord Justice Stephens held that jurors were aware they had to assess the reliability of statements made by Jack, as well as his mother's account.

He also said there appeared strong grounds for the prosecution to have made a bad character application to have evidence from the woman in England support claims by Jack's mother.

"(They) were not known to each other and yet there were striking similarities between their evidence with, if their accounts were accepted, attempts by QD to corrupt both of them so that he could indulge a propensity not only for possessing child pornography involving visualising children's involvement in sex but also for committing sexual acts involving young children," Lord Justice Stephens added.

"No explanation was given to us as to why that application was not moved."

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