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Sunday Life

Inquiry after Northern Ireland paedo Gavin Cuthbert abused boy while on bail

Victim lodges complaint with Police Ombudsman over predator's release

Gavin Cuthbert (blue Adidas top) and Mark Cuthbert (white T-shirt)
Gavin Cuthbert (blue Adidas top) and Mark Cuthbert (white T-shirt)
Gavin Cuthbert
Ciaran Barnes

By Ciaran Barnes

The PSNI decision to bail a serial paedophile who went on to abuse another child is to be investigated by the Police Ombudsman.

Evil predator Gavin Cuthbert molested the schoolboy on dates between 2016 and 2018 while being investigated by detectives for the historic abuse of Paul Stirling.

His victims are convinced that had he been charged, the sex attacks would not have occurred.

Last Monday, Paul, accompanied by East Belfast MP Gavin Robinson, lodged a complaint with the Police Ombudsman.

The abuse survivor wants PSNI chiefs who freed the notorious 49-year-old paedophile on bail to be held accountable for their decision.

Paul told Sunday Life: "I contacted the police in 2015 to let them know how I was abused by Gavin Cuthbert and his older brother Mark. But they were released on bail and that scumbag Gavin went on to sexually assault another boy.

"If they had been charged there and then, and I believe there was enough evidence to do so, that kid could have been saved. Whoever made the decision to let them out on police bail needs to be held accountable."

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Confirming an investigation, a Police Ombudsman spokesman said: "Our investigators met Gavin Robinson MP and one of his constituents earlier this week.

"They discussed a complaint a man had made to the Police Ombudsman's office which concerned matters connected to allegations of sexual abuse."

Gavin Cuthbert will be back in court on Tuesday to be sentenced for abusing three boys over a 30-year period between 1988 and 2018, including the youngster he sexually assaulted while on police bail.

He is already serving an 11-year prison sentence for molesting five other kids including Paul Stirling, whose courageous decision to contact police in 2015 led to the paedophile's reign of terror coming to an end.

Details of Gavin Cuthbert's crimes against his latest victims were laid bare at Belfast Crown Court on Friday past.

A prosecutor revealed how the scheming pervert abused the kids on carefully arranged trips to hotels in Newcastle, Co Down, and a caravan park in Millisle.

Gavin Robinson
Gavin Robinson

The predator also befriended one of the victims with sweets from his tuck shop on the top floor of his former home off the Albertbridge Road in east Belfast.

This is how Gavin and older brother Mark Cuthbert (54) groomed Paul Stirling, who they abused more than 100 times when the promising footballer was aged between 10 and 14.

However, the cowardly pair did not reckon with their victim turning into a fearless father-of-four who made it his life's mission to have them jailed for their sickening crimes.

Gavin Cuthbert is now facing time added onto his lengthy jail term when he appears in the dock again on Tuesday to be sentenced for 47 new sex crimes against three children.

His paedophile brother Mark is serving an eight-year sentence for abusing several kids including Paul Stirling, who is now aged 34. A third sibling, William 'Billy' Cuthbert (61), was freed from prison last year after serving a four-year sentence for gross indecency with a female child.

All three are known as the 'Beasts from the East' in reference to the area of Belfast in which they targeted their young victims.

Paul Stirling
Paul Stirling

Experienced detectives who worked on the Gavin Cuthbert case describe it as being among the worst and most prolonged examples of child abuse ever recorded in Northern Ireland.

At a court hearing earlier this year, Sunday Life was praised by prosecutors for helping expose the paedophile. Multiple articles in this newspaper with survivor Paul Stirling led to the latest five victims coming forward and Cuthbert pleading guilty to 47 new crimes.

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