Belfast Telegraph

Sentencing of pervert ex-monk delayed

Guilty pleas: Vincent Lewis admitted offences
Guilty pleas: Vincent Lewis admitted offences

By Staff Reporter

A former monk who has admitted to a series of historic child sex offences must await sentencing until the outcome of a related appeal is known.

Vincent Lewis (90), of Annagher Road, Coalisland, is currently serving a custodial sentence for similar matters.

He had admitted five counts of gross indecency with a male child and a single count of indecent assault in September.

The offences occurred on various dates between 1983 and 1986.

Formerly known as Brother Ambrose, the guilty pleas brought the number of his victims to four.

He appeared in dock of Dungannon Crown Court in September, accepting each charge as it was read to him.

Yesterday at the same court Judge Neil Rafferty QC ruled pre-sentence reports would be required in order to proceed, as well as a victim impact statement.

He also queried part of Lewis' previous record and asked for clarification on this before the next appearance.

However, it was accepted those matters related to three victims, and the latest case involved a different, fourth victim, who came forward to police after Lewis was convicted in the first matters.

His sentence is currently awaiting a ruling from the Court of Appeal, having been suggested as unduly lenient.

The defence advised Lewis is not expected to be released for at least four years.

The judge suggested defence lawyers again contact the Court of Appeal to establish when a judgment can be expected, before a sentencing date is scheduled in the current matter.

Adjourning the case for three weeks, Judge Rafferty noted there are currently two approaches in respect of sentencing elderly persons.

One, he explained, is to treat them no differently to any other defendant, or alternatively, take account of advanced age and accompanying frailties, which could mean suffering in prison is more arduous. "In order to apply the proper approach, I want to see what the Court of Appeal says," he explained.

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