October 2005

Bandsman jailed for rape attempt

A Belfast man has been jailed for 12 years for the attempted rape and indecent assault of a teenager.

Thomas Sloan, 39, from Cluan Place was also put on the sex offenders’ register for life at Belfast Crown Court.

Judge Derick Rodgers told Sloan he used threats and his forceful personality to sexually abuse his victim.

“She was only 15 while you were in your late 30s. You had power over her and used it in a perverted manner,” said Judge Rodgers.

Sloan is chairman of the Crimson Star Flute Band in the east of the city.

His lawyers said they were planning to appeal his conviction and probe allegations made in a newspaper report in which the victim waived her right to anonymity.

A defence barrister said Sloan “is devastated and disappointed by the jury’s verdict and continues to protest his innocence” and that the matters raised in the newspaper article “underline our concerns in this case”.

However, the judge said victim impact reports made for “sad and unhappy reading” and indicated the victim had “suffered grievously from this period of abuse” which had left her “severely traumatised to the point where she attempted to take her own life”.

Meanwhile, a rapist serving 16 years for sexually abusing his sisters and a daughter has been given nine years for raping his wife and indecently assaulting her sister.

The man cannot be named to protect their identities.

Belfast Crown Court heard he pleaded guilty to two counts of rape, four charges of indecent assault and 17 further charges of assault.