Forensic evidence led to the conviction of a child molester from Enniskillen despite his victim not giving evidence or making a statement about the abuse she suffered at his hands.
Dermot Joseph MacBrien (51) of Derrin Road received a three year sentence for sexual touching of the schoolgirl who was aged between 13 and 15. He will spend one year in custody and two years on licence under the strict supervision of the Probation Service. He was convicted of carrying out the sex attack on a date unknown, between January 1, 2012 and October 15, 2013. A second charge of sexual grooming of a child was left on the books.
Prosecution barrister Simon Reid told Omagh Crown Court the child did not make a statement and was not a witness in court.
Outlining the facts of the case, he explained that the child stayed with a relative of MacBrien and he gave her a card for her 12th birthday.
However the girl’s mother took issue with him giving the card and warned him not to associate with her. He also received a ‘harbouring notice’ from the police regarding the girl.
Harbouring notices are official written warnings given to someone by the police on behalf of a parent or carer of a young person, instructing them that they are banning them from seeing that child and that they will be arrested for child abduction if they continue to do so.
However pedophile MacBrien breached the notice. Police later searched the schoolgirl’s home and found her underwear under her bed. Forensic tests revealed MacBrien’s semen was on the inside of the underwear. Mr Reid said the prosecution was unable to give the exact details of the touching carried out by the defendant.
However the prosecution and defence agreed that the evidence “…pointed to one obvious conclusion that he must have intentionally touched the child sexually as per the offence.”
When questioned about the offence, the defendant told police he had “comforted” the girl when she was in her pyjamas and he became “aroused” and ejaculated. He said he became “ashamed and embarrassed” when it happened.
The court also heard he had no previous convictions of a sexual nature and is not under any other investigation. The pre-sentence report noted that he had failed to comply with the “harbouring” notice and assessed him as a medium risk of re-offending.
Imposing the two years on licence following one year in custody, Judge Paul Ramsey said a report prepared by a doctor suggested he would need to work with him for at least two years to deal with “some of the issues.”
The judge told MacBrien he must comply with any course of work as directed by probation.
He was placed on the Sex Offenders’ register for an “indefinite” period and made subject to a five year Sex Offenders Prevention Order (SOPO).
He has been disqualified from working with children and prohibited from having any contact or communication with any female child under the age of 16 years, unless with the prior approval of his designated risk manager and social services in writing. Mac Brien was led from the dock handcuffed to a prison officer.
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