Tweed guilty of 13 sex abuse charges

Published Wednesday, 28 November 2012
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Former Ireland rugby international and Ballymena councillor David Tweed has been convicted of a total of 13 child sex abuse charges, after two days of deliberations by the trial jury.

Tweed, 53 and from Clonavon Terrace in Ballymena, has been on trial for the last three weeks at Antrim Crown Court.

On Wednesday, he was first found guilty of nine charges of indecent assault and one charge of gross indecency - all of which were against two young girls, who are now adults.

Stood in the dock, Tweed appeared nervous. As the guilty verdicts were returned, he shook his head and sighed deeply.

The victims, who gave evidence during the court proceedings, were not present for the verdicts. But family and friends wept and one woman fled the courtroom in tears.

Presiding judge Alistair Devlin then asked the jurors if they thought they could reach a majority verdict on three outstanding charges, having spent just over eight hours in deliberations.

The jury foreman said she believed they could if they were given more time.

The offences with which you are charged are not only vile and wicked, they particularly disturbing and distasteful crimes.

Judge Alistair Devlin

The women and two men then retired again to continue deliberating the further three charges, a day after they cleared Tweed of one charge of indecent assault.

When they returned, the jury found Tweed guilty of a further two counts of gross indecency and one of indecent assault.

He had been charged with - and denied - a total of 14 offences over an eight-year period from 1988.

Tweed was a prominent member of the Ulster Rugby team in the 1980s and 1990s, before making his international debut with Ireland in 1995 and earning four caps.

A former DUP councillor, he later became an Independent before joining Traditional Unionist Voice. He was suspended by the party when trial proceedings got underway.

He has been remanded in custody to await sentencing.

© UTV News
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5 Comments
Brian in Co Down wrote (510 days ago):
If he's that british then he'll have to accept British justice.
jimmymac in canada wrote (511 days ago):
The David Tweeds of the world, can run but they can never hide... from their odious and disgusting crimes. lock the scum-bags up, and throw away the keys
Ryan in Belfast wrote (512 days ago):
Wasnt David Tweed a member of Jim Allisters TUV? Disgusting man. Anyone who abuses any child is disgusting andd deserves heavy prison time.
regan mc shane in chicago wrote (512 days ago):
disgusting man,lock him up and throw away the key
norman.d in bangor wrote (512 days ago):
i hope the party and council do the right thing and strip him of his party membership and job as a counciller name and shame these people who abuse young people people have the right to know about these people especially those with children
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