Northern Ireland news

Derry man (54) jailed for sexually assaulting young girl

Damian Martin Payne (54), of John Street in Derry, was jailed for a year

A 54-year-old Derry man has been jailed for a year for sexually assaulting a young girl.

Damian Martin Payne, of John Street in the city, was convicted last month by a majority verdict.

At Derry Crown Court today Judge Philip Babington said the victim told the trial Payne asked her to sit on his knee while in a friend's house some time in late 2015, when she was aged between seven and eight.

She said when she refused, Payne brought her down and sat her on his knee and the sexual assault then took place.

The girl told the trial that the assault continued until her friend suggested they go outside, with the defendant telling her not to tell anyone what happened.

Payne, who had 24 previous convictions but none for sexual offices, described the allegations as lie and maintained his innocence.

Judge Babington said he was not assessed as posing a significant risk of serious harm but was not entitled to any credit as he had "made a very young child give evidence".

He sentenced him to serve one year in custody followed by two on licence.

He must also sign the sex offenders register for an indefinite period and observe a sexual offences prevention order for five years, meaning he can have no communication with children under 16 unless approved by social services and cannot stay anywhere overnight without approval.

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