Lochside Garage

Sex offender approached young boy in Tesco store

CONVICTED sex-offender Robert Liddle has admitted a sixth instance of breaching a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO), while on bail awaiting trial for the same charge and which he described as “a Mickey Mouse breach”,
The seventy-one-year old from Moorlough Road, Lisnaskea is currently serving a prison term after accepting the same offence by being in a country park where children and young people were gathered. On Friday he appeared in the dock of Dungannon Crown Court, pleading guilty to breaching the order by communication with a child on 19 December last, which he was prohibited from doing.
The offence occurred in Tesco, Enniskillen where a school choir were singing Christmas carols. Liddle approached a male pupil who was watching the choir from the side, and asked him why he wasn’t singing.
Staff alerted police at once and Liddle was arrested. He accepted being in the shop and speaking to the boy. He acknowledged this was against the SOPO terms, but described it as “A Mickey Mouse breach.”
Liddle was before the same court for sentencing in April for his then fifth breach after he admitted being within 30 metres of a children’s play area and a marina, where a number of juveniles were frequenting. That occurred 16 June 2018 at Castle Archdale Country Park, and he was on bail for this when the latest matter occurred.
After that matter was dealt with and having been advised another matter was pending Judge Neil Rafferty QC ordered the latest breach to be fast-tracked, in order to have sentence passed and the PSNI Public Protection Unit begin working with Liddle on release. The judge heard from the Designated Risk Manager who said while Liddle is compliant with him, “It is sometimes a case he lapses in judgment. Unfortunately, he is very well known in his home area.”
But Judge Rafferty replied, “With respect, that’s a good thing. Vigilantes who drive people like him underground cause safety to be diminished. The SOPO is in place to ensure safety.”
Addressing Liddle, Judge Rafferty said, “You need to listen very carefully. There is no such thing as a ‘Mickey Mouse breach’ of an order. You are subject to a SOPO for a reason. Every term in that order is for public protection. That is how you will live your life.”
He imposed a further sentence of one month imprisonment on top of the term currently being served.
Liddle will remain under the SOPO until further order.


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