January 2021

Ex-teacher is jailed for sex abuse of six-year-old

A former teacher who was extradited from Spain to face historical sex abuse charges was jailed for three and a half years yesterday.

Jailing Seamus Leo McGreevy at Newry Crown Court, Judge Gordon Kerr QC labelled the 65-year-old a “sexual predator”, given the fact he had previous convictions for abusing three other young children.

He told McGreevy, whose victim watched the proceedings by video-link, he had subjected the then six-year-old boy to a “campaign” of serious sexual abuse which had involved grooming, and as the boy’s teacher “is a case of a breach of trust of the highest possible degree”.

At an earlier hearing McGreevy, whose address was given as c/o Maghaberry Prison, entered guilty pleas to eight counts of indecent assault on dates between September 1, 1987 and June 30, 1988.

Rehearsing the facts of the case during his sentencing remarks, Judge Kerr described how McGreevy had been teaching in a west Belfast primary school when he “began to appear to pay special attention” to his young victim, “giving him presents and appearing to favour him”.

“He then started to make sexual advances to him which started at a low level but soon progressed to what I would describe as serious sexual abuse,” said the judge.

During one incident, he told the court, McGreevy took the boy to a house where they were both naked, pulling the boy on top of him and rubbing against him.

“This can only be described as extremely serious,” said the judge, adding that the abuse has had a “serious affect” on the victim and his mental health throughout his life.

Judge Kerr revealed that McGreevy had claimed that once released from his previous offences, he had moved to Spain to make a “fresh start” and had “fully changed his attitude his attitude… and his interest in paedophilia”.

But the judge added that “had he genuinely wished to clear himself of any culpable behaviour, it was perfectly open to him at any time to go to the authorities and confess”.

Turning to sentencing, the judge said while there were multiple aggravating features it was fair to say that once extradited from Spain, McGreevy had admitted his guilt at the first opportunity “although I have some concerns that he worked as a teacher and was working with children” in Spain.

In addition to the jail sentence, McGreevy was ordered to sign the police sex offenders register for the rest of his life.