Northern Ireland news

Man (24) told lucky not to be jailed for grooming 14-year-old girl and kissing her on train

Daniel McCormick (24) leaves Coleraine Magistrates Court. Picture by Mark Jamieson

A judge has told a man he is lucky not to be jailed after hearing how he groomed and then met up with a 14-year-old girl and kissed her on a train.

Daniel McCormick (24) was put on probation for two years, placed on the Sex Offenders' Register and made the subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order.

McCormick, of Glenrosa Link, Belfast, had previously been found guilty in his absence of two charges of meeting a child following sexual grooming and intentionally engaging in sexual touching in December 2015.

The offences emerged after "inappropriate texts" were found on the girl's phone.

The teenager admitted "kissing on the train" with McCormick near Coleraine.

District Judge Liam McNally told Coleraine Magistrates Court: "I think anyone hearing the facts of this case and anyone who is a parent or a grandparent, the very idea of you being 24, on a train, kissing a young girl of 14, would immediately lend anyone to conclude that I should send you to prison."

However, he added that the defendant had accepted his guilt and he had to weigh up the best way to ensure he does not re-offend.

His sentence includes a ban on contact with children under the age of 16 unless with approval of social services or his designated risk manager.

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