Northern Ireland news

'Bravery' of victim hailed after Belfast rapist sentenced

Laganside courthouse in Belfast

A 33-year-old man from the Belfast area has been sentenced to serve a seven year custodial sentence for rape.

Thomas Markey will serve half in prison and half on license.

He will be placed on the Sex Offenders Register indefinitely and subject to a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) for ten years.

Detective Sergeant Rebecca Hedley said: “This was a terrifying ordeal for the victim. Mr Markey acted callously in his actions, with total disregard to consent of the victim, leaving her shaken and with undoubtedly long-lasting trauma.  

“Sexual abuse and assault of any kind is taken incredibly seriously by the Police Service of Northern Ireland. We worked with the victim who bravely came forward to us and brought her attacker before the courts today to answer for his crimes.

“She would like her bravery in speaking out about Mr Markey to encourage other potential victims of sexual crimes to come forward and break the silence about their abusers.

“We are actively seeking out those who sexually exploit, abuse or attack anyone in our communities so that we can make them amenable for their crimes.

“Please be assured that we have specially trained officers who will treat victims with sensitivity and respect – at every stage of the process.

“I would continue to encourage anyone who has experienced any form of sexual abuse or assault to contact police on 101, or in an emergency call 999.”

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Northern Ireland news