Judge allows child abuser to be named

Published Wednesday, 12 February 2014
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A former Derry City Council employee who pleaded guilty to a number of charges of sexual abuse against a boy can be named for the first time after a judge lifted reporting restrictions in the case.

Judge allows child abuser to be named
The abuse lasted for four years and began in 1989. (© Getty)

Brendan McGowan, 69, from Brewster's Close in the William Street area of the city, worked in the council's Templemore Sports Complex and Tower Museum before his retirement.

He had initially denied the offences and his jury trial was due to have started before Judge Philip Babington at Londonderry Crown Court on Wednesday morning.

However, before the trial started McGowan asked to be re-arraigned on the charges.

He pleaded guilty to six charges of indecently assaulting the boy, two charges of committing an act of gross indecency with or towards the boy and guilty to one charge of inciting the boy to commit an act of gross indecency.

The incidents were said to have taken place over a four-year period starting in 1989.

A 10th charge of attempted buggery has been left on the books, not to be proceeded with without the permission of the court.

After they had earlier been sworn in to hear the trial, the jurors were told that the offences took place in a flat at Colmcille Court in the Bogside area of the city.

The victim and members of his family who were to have given evidence in the trial were in court to hear McGowan admit to the abuse.

McGowan can now be named for the first time after Judge Babington revoked a previously imposed reporting restriction order, however, the judge said the victim was still entitled to anonymity for the rest of his life.

Judge Babington ordered the preparation of pre-sentence and victim impact reports and said he would sentence McGowan on 19 March.

McGowan, who has no previous convictions, was released on continuing bail until sentencing next month.

He was ordered to sign a Sex Offender's Notification Order the terms of which state he must inform the police of a change of address and of any plans to leave Northern Ireland for a period of three days or more.

The length of time McGowan will be subject to the order will be determined at his sentencing.

© UTV News
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