January 2021

Pensioner jailed for sex attack on 11-year-old

A South Armagh man who sexually assaulted a young boy more than ten years ago has been handed a 14 month sentence.

As 67-year-old Seamus Murphy appeared at Newry Crown Court by videolink from his solicitor’s office, Judge Gordon Kerr QC ordered him to surrender himself to custody on Monday morning.

Jailing the Crossmaglen pensioner, the judge told him that “unsurprisingly,” given the fact that the victim had to testify against the paedophile twice, he had found the court process traumatising.

At the end of his trial, Murphy, from the Ballsmill Road, was unanimously convicted on two counts of indecent assault committed between August 2004 and August 2005.

The jury heard that Murphy, who still protests his innocence, was looking after the 11-year-old victim when he unzipped the victim’s trousers and touched him inappropriately.

“The victim told him to stop and he put his finger to his lips as if saying to be quiet,” said the judge who added that while the incident was serious and merits a jail sentence, “it was a single incident….and the touching was at the lower end of the scale.”

“Nevertheless this was in the context of an assault in an 11-year-old boy that took place in the presence of his brother who was asleep,” Judge Kerr told the court, adding that it was a “serious breach of trust.”

In addition to the jail sentence, Murphy was ordered to sign the police sex offenders register for the next ten years.