Child abuse strongman jailed for 15 years

‘Big Dave’ Parkinson — a 21-stone power-lifter from Co Fermanagh — was told he had taken advantage of the confidence and trust of his victims to satisfy his “disgusting and depraved lust”.

At his trial in February he was convicted of 17 counts of abuse — including three rapes — on three girls aged between six and 10 during a four-year period in the early 1990s.

Jailing Parkinson yesterday, Judge Piers Grant said he had “hidden behind the facade of decency and reputation” to carry out the “outrageous offences”.

The 66-year-old, of Main Street in Brookeborough, showed no emotion as the sentence was handed down during a 30-minute hearing at Dungannon Courthouse.

Highly respected in sporting and charity circles, Parkinson had regularly appeared on television and became a household name after a series of novelty lifts.

In 1974 Parkinson entered the Guinness Book of Records when he became the world beer barrel-lifting champion during the World Beer Show at Earls Court in London.

The trial heard details of how Parkinson raped one of his victims three times, bribed another to touch his genitals in return for cash, and forced a third to perform a sex act on him.

Described by one of his victims as “like a giant to small children”, he forced one to watch a pornographic video before raping her, warning the terrified child that her family would “disappear” if she told anyone.

Parkinson had lured the girls to his home using “the money game”, during which he threw money over a wall, encouraging the children to follow it. The judge said a lengthy custodial sentence was the only suitable punishment, adding there was a “very real risk” Parkinson would reoffend.

Jailing Parkinson for a total of 15 years, Judge Grant paid tribute to the courage and bravery which the victims had shown in coming forward.

Parkinson was also placed of the sex offenders’ register and was told he must not engage in any association or activity with children.

Two of Parkinson’s victims were in court to hear the sentence passed down.

One said: “No one should have to suffer that — I suffered it long enough.

“I’m pleased with the sentence but just relieved that it’s all over.”

She said she now wanted to forget her ordeal and try and rebuild her life, but appealed for other victims of sex abuse to come forward.

“Just don’t be afraid,” she added.

“The courts are there to help people. It has been very distressing but I’ve come out better from it.”

This is the second time Parkinson has been convicted of abusing children. In 2007 he confessed to being a paedophile and was jailed for two years for indecently assaulting an eight-year-old girl.

This article is from The Belfast Telegraph

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there