Pervert OAP who abused girl for nine years jailed
A Co Antrim pensioner was sent to prison for 14 years yesterday for carrying out a campaign of rape against a young girl.
Arthur Ingram, from Dunanney in Newtownabbey, showed no emotion as a judge said he will serve all the sentence behind bars.
The 69-year-old was convicted by a jury in May at Belfast Crown Court of abusing the girl in the 1980s and early 1990s.
In total Ingram was convicted of five indecent assaults, three common assaults and seven rapes when his victim was a child and into her teenage years.
The offending occurred in north Belfast from 1982 to 1991.
Ingram was also placed on the sex offenders' register for life, and was made the subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order for an indefinite period.
Afterwards, his now 45-year-old victim welcomed the sentence and thanked the police, the Public Prosecution Service and counselling service Nexus NI for their support.
The Belfast grandmother said: "I fought for seven years to get this man to court, so I'm very pleased with the sentence he got.
"I want to thank the police, and in particular the Child Abuse Investigation Unit, and all the staff in the PPS who worked on my case.
"I also want to thank Donna McIlroy from Nexus, because without her I would not be here today."
Belfast Recorder Judge David McFarland spoke of the significant impact Ingram's actions have had on his victim.
He told him that "by robbing her of her teenage years, you totally corrupted her".
In her evidence at the trial the victim recalled the abuse began when she was eight. She said she was "physically, sexually and mentally abused" into her late teens by Ingram.
Crown prosecutor Jackie Orr QC had branded Ingram's offending as "sustained sexual abuse which the victim endured in her formative years, which has had a significant impact on her".
Ms Orr also revealed that despite being convicted by a jury, Ingram maintains his innocence and is appealing his conviction.
Defence barrister Gavan Duffy QC spoke of his client's impeccable work record and almost clear criminal record. He said the Probation Board believed Ingram had a low risk of reoffending and was not seen as dangerous.
Judge David McFarland called the abuse a "campaign of rape" and told Ingram "this was a total corruption of this young girl during her teenage years". The judge also noted the convictions for assault, telling Ingram: "You were prepared to use physical force to maintain your control over her."