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Paedo James Junior Craig's TV plea to find girl he murdered

Sicko convicted of historic abuse

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MONSTER: James Junior Craig

MONSTER: James Junior Craig

MONSTER: James Junior Craig

A child-killing paedophile shamefully took part in a Police Six TV appeal pleading for information about a missing schoolgirl's whereabouts while she was lying murdered in his coal bunker.

Residents of the Shankill Road area of Belfast who knew James Junior Craig before he was convicted of Sonia Forsythe's murder compared his behaviour to that of killer paedophile Ian Huntley - who did the same when detectives were hunting for his child victims, Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman.

The monster was found guilty last Thursday of indecency with a girl and her older sister, who are now aged 38 and 40.

One of the victims told how he danced naked in front of her while boasting about sex.

The little girl, then aged seven, had no idea that her tormentor would go on to beat schoolgirl Sonia Forsythe to death with a poker and hide her body in a coal bunker for five years.

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Sonia Forsythe

Sonia Forsythe

Sonia Forsythe

His two victims bravely gave evidence over two trials against Craig, who preyed on children during the late 1980s and early 1990s while living on the Shankill Road.

The pervert will be sentenced next month for the abuse but he was handed a minimum 21-year life sentence in 1998 for the horrific murder of Sonia, whose badly decomposed body was found two years earlier hidden in a coal bunker at his old Sydney Street West home.

The 13-year-old had gone missing in 1991 with a judge ruling there is a "strong suspicion she was sexually maltreated before being murdered".

Craig was freed from prison in 2019, but his latest convictions mean he will face a lengthy spell behind bars when he is sentenced for his latest convictions.

Previously unheard details from his trial include how he danced naked in front of one of his young victims, then aged seven, throwing a condom at her.

The incident took place in the Sydney Street West house in which the pervert would murder Sonia. The same victim was also taken by Craig to Ballysillan Leisure Centre where he abused her in his car.

Her older sister, who was also targeted by the child sex predator, was lured into his home with sweets while playing on the streets.

He promised to buy her ice-cream while performing sex acts on himself.

Giving evidence at Craig's trial the woman, now aged 40, insisted she was clear about the abuse inflicted on her as a child.

She said: "I have four kids and I have better things to do than sit here and look at his face and go over what he done to me. It happened. Why would I make something like that up?"

Craig, who recently became a grandfather, has been told to expect up to five years in prison for his latest known crimes.

The 49-year-old is currently being held in the high-security Maghaberry Prison, where he has a plum job as a porter, transporting different items around on a trolley between wings.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, the still heartbroken mum of Sonia Forsythe - the schoolgirl Craig murdered three decades ago - welcomed the fact he had been found guilty of sex abuse.

Audrey Boomer said: "I am glad the girls are getting justice and hopefully this will keep him off the streets for longer. We have always said that he was a danger to society."

Imposing a 21-year tariff on Craig for Sonia's murder, the Lord Chief Justice Brian Kerr said he had inflicted "untold misery" on her family.

"The post mortem shows that she suffered many fractures of her skull and several fractures of her facial bones immediately prior to death," said the judge.

"The force required to inflict these injuries must have been considerable. The concealment of the victim's body compounded and greatly increased the trauma and grief that her family suffered.

"To have to endure years of uncertainty as to the fate of this young girl must have caused untold misery. Reported sightings of the child, which of course proved to be wrong, can only have deepened their grief and distress."

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