January 2016

Co Down man to be sentenced for having sex with underage girl

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A Co Down man was remanded back into custody on Tuesday to await sentencing on a charge of having sex with a teenage girl ten years his junior.

During a two-week trial held at Belfast Crown Court, 28-year old Andrew Williamson, from Ashgrove Avenue in Banbridge, faced a total of eight charges linked to allegations that he conducted a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old when he was aged 24.

Williamson was tried by a jury of six men and six women of one count of sexual activity by an adult with a child, and seven counts of sexual activity including penetration with a child, over a period spanning from August 2011 to February 2013.

After deliberating for over six hours, the forewoman of the jury delivered the verdict – acquitting Williamson of seven of the counts but finding him guilty by a majority of 11 to one on one of the charges of sexual activity including penetration with a child.

Throughout the trial, Williamson always made the case that whilst he knew the teenage girl, he wasn’t involved sexually with her. He also branded her claims that they were in a relationship as lies.

Whilst the jury cleared him of a majority of the charges, they found him guilty of having sex with her at a house in Banbridge when she was 15, in February 2013.

Judge Stephen Fowler informed Williamson that in light of the guilty plea, he would have to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register, adding “the length of time will be detemined by the sentence imposed in this case”.

Williamson will be sentenced on March 4.

May 2014

Rape rap man posts pics of himself with AK47 on web to intimidate victims

Suspected teen rapist Andrew Williamson posted a picture of himself armed with an AK47 to intimidate his alleged victims, a court has heard.

The 26-year old, accused of plying two teenage girls in care with alcohol in order to use them for sex, posted the menacing image on Facebook one week after being charged with the heinous crimes.

Williamson of Ashgrove Avenue in Banbridge was denied bail by Judge Finnegan when he appeared in court last week. He will remain on remand until his trial, scheduled for September.

During last week’s court hearing prosecution barrister Mr Chambers suggested the Facebook photograph of the accused holding an ‘AK47’ rifle was posted on the defendant’s profile page as an intimidation move.

He also revealed the PSNI never recovered the rifle.

Williamson had been prohibited from using the internet after being earlier released on bail. He was re-arrested one week after being released in connection to the alleged sex crimes after his Facebook was reported to police.

Williamson however claims his social media page was ‘Fraped’ by his friend, the slang term meaning that someone accessed his Facebook page and published the photograph without his knowledge. 

Williamson also claims to have had consensual sex with the older girl believing she was his girlfriend.

The court was told that the alleged injured party had received a sexually transmitted infection from the accused.

His Honour Judge Finnegan denied bail.

Williamson will be brought for trial on September 15.

May 2013

A RAPE suspect accused of grooming two teenage girls for sex was banned from any unauthorised contact with children.

The High Court in Belfast made the banning order after granting bail to Andrew Trevor Williamson as part of a series of conditions.

A judge also ordered the Co Down man not to use the internet after hearing claims that he used a social networking service to make contact.

Williamson, 25, of Dromore Street, Banbridge, denies seven charges including rape, meeting a child following sexual grooming, sexual activity with a child, and trafficking within the UK for sexual exploitation.

The alleged offences were committed against girls aged 13 and 15 at locations in Co Down between June 2012 and January 2013.

The younger of them claimed Williamson forced himself on her after she was taken to different houses and plied with alcopops.

Prosecutors said it was alleged that he spent a month chatting with the teenager through the Blackberry BBM mobile messaging service before suggesting a meeting.

Williamson offered her £15 to help pay for a friend’s birthday present on condition that she did something in return for him, according to the girl’s account.

The court heard the girl was taken to a garage where the first sexual contact took place.

She also showed police two houses in Banbridge where she claimed to have been raped.

He allegedly brought bottles of WKD and Buckfast tonic wine for her to drink with him.

The second alleged victim, who was aged 15 at the time, said she had consensual sex with Williamson for months after they were introduced last summer.

She claimed they met twice a week either at his home or in his car.

Defence counsel stressed that Williamson categorically denies the charges against him.

Williamson accepted corresponding with the younger girl through BBM but claimed there was never any sexual contact, the court heard.

Ruling today on his bail application, Mr Justice Maguire acknowledged the potential risk of any further offences.

But he decided that a package of conditions could be imposed to deal with prosecution concerns.

The judge ordered that a £5,000 cash surety must be lodged and imposed an alcohol ban.

He directed that Williamson must be curfewed, electronically tagged and is to have no contact with either alleged victim.

The accused cannot use a mobile phone, computer or any device linked to the internet or social networking sites.

Mr Justice Maguire also banned him from contacting anyone under 16 or being in a relationship with any woman who has a child below that age, unless prior consent has been given by a police officer.

He added: “I want to make it absolutely clear that I have given great attention to this application. He has only very narrowly obtained bail.

“What has made bail possible in his case are a series of stringent conditions.”