Northern Ireland news

West Belfast man jailed for two years for sexually assaulting young girl, burglary and aggravated vehicle taking

David Connors (32), of Old Forge, Dunmurry appeared at Belfast Crown Court via video-link from Maghaberry prison

A WEST Belfast man has been jailed for two years for sexually assaulting a young girl, burglary and aggravated vehicle taking.

David Connors (32) of Old Forge, Dunmurry appeared at Belfast Crown Court via video-link from Maghaberry prison to be sentenced for three separate matters.

The court heard Connors was convicted unanimously by a jury in September of two counts of sexually assaulting a nine-year girl.

Prosecution lawyer Jonathan Connolly said the victim's mum had held a party at her west Belfast home in October 2018.

The victim said she was in bed with another female along with Connors. At one point the female got out of the bed and Connors moved closer to her and "grabbed her bottom'' and rubbed his hand across her stomach.

In a second case, the prosecution barrister said police attended Glenville Park, Newtownabbey on September 28 2021, following reports members of the public had detained two people for burglary.

Police were told the pair were detained after they tried to enter a house in Glenville Park by smashing a rear window.

The shed at a neighbouring property had also been entered and garden shears and metal bars stolen. Work tools were also stolen from another nearby property.

Mr Connolly said when Connors was searched, PSNI officers found 200 "blue pills'' concealed inside a Kinder egg and in a money bag in his clothing.

Connors admitted possessing the ''blue pills'' but claimed they were for his personal use. The defendant subsequently pleaded guilty to offences of burglary, burglary with intent to steal and possessing a Class C drug.

In a further case, Connors pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle-taking, driving dangerously and causing damage, driving whilst disqualified, no insurance and failing to provide a drug-drive specimen.

Mr Connolly said on November 6 2021, a BMW car was stolen during a 'creeper burglary' in Dunmurry at 2.30am. It was later spotted in the Glenarm/Larne area and pursued by police with Connors found to be trying to climb into the back seat. A stolen Samsung phone was found in the car.

Judge Geoffrey Miller KC said Connors had 127 previous convictions since the age of 13 when he was convicted of car theft.

The judge said Connors still denied the sexual assault offences, but a jury had found the victim's testimony as "believable''.

Judge Miller imposed consecutive prison sentences of nine months for sexual assault, six months for burglary and nine months for the driving offences.

Connors will be under supervised licence for two years on his release.

He was banned from driving for five years, put on the sex offenders register for 10 years and made the subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order for five years.

Northern Ireland news