CHILD ABUSER JAILED FOR 11 MONTHS AT BELFAST COURT

Belfast judge jails child abuser for 12 months

Belfast judge jails child abuser for 12 months

A man who admitted abusing three young girls 35 years ago has been sentenced to 11 months in jail.

Paul Gardiner, from the Cusher Road in Markethill, had previously pleaded guilty to 13 counts of indecent assault.

The victims were aged seven, nine and 14 when the offences happened.

The gospel singer made contact with his victims’ families through a Newtownabbey church, before he began living at their homes.

As well as receiving a jail term, the 52-year-old has also been placed on the sex offenders register for 10 years.

The revelations about the abuse came to light in 1980 when Gardiner was in his late teens but police were not involved until last year.

The offences in two cases were persistent.

Two of the victims, the court heard on Friday morning, had suffered subsequent psychological trauma.

Gardiner looked into the ground as the judge read through the charges.

He was praised for admitting the offences and his clean record outside the charges, and his good references were taken into account – but the judge said custody was essential.

 

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