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Northern Ireland news

Grandfather (53) from Co Down jailed for historic abuse of three boys

A 53-year-old grandfather has been jailed for historic sex abuse
Staff Reporter

A 53-YEAR-OLD grandfather who abused three young boys under the age of 13 more than 30 years ago has been jailed.

The man, from Co Down, was jailed for 12 months and will spend a further 18 months on probation following his release.

Judge Piers Grant told the man he had targeted vulnerable young boys "in a planned, pre-meditated and calculated way".

Downpatrick Crown Court, sitting in Belfast, heard on Thursday that the abuse happened between 1977 and 1983.

The man abused the young boys in several locations in the Co Down village where he and his victims lived, including while he babysat them in their homes and in a disused lorry.

At the time of the abuse, the man was aged between 14 and 19.

Judge Grant said two of the complainants have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder while the third has an adjustment disorder.

The court heard the man had himself been abused by four men as a youngster.

Despite initial denials, the 53-year-old pleaded guilty to a total of 22 offences, including multiple counts of indecent assault and gross indecency.

The court heard the crimes came to light in 2014 when a man told police he was abused in 1981.

The first incident he remembered was in his parents' bedroom when he was 12 and the defendant was 17.

When the 53-year-old was arrested in October 2014 he initially denied the claims - but told police he had abused another young boy.

When this victim was contacted, he told police he had been abused regularly by the man over a 10-month period.

He also said that on some occasions the man had offered him money to perform sex acts.

The victim was targeted when he was aged eight and the man was 14.

The third complainant said he was sexually abused on a regular basis for two years.

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