Man abused children while their mum trained for police

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The Independent Online

A 50-year-old man in Northern Ireland has been jailed for three-and-a-half years for sexually abusing the children of a former girlfriend 18 years ago while she trained for the police.

Belfast Crown Court Judge Corinne Philpott told Robert Pedlow from Glenkeen Avenue in Carrickfergus, the court could not ignore the fact his failure to plead guilty necessitated a trial.

Judge Philpott said while victim impact reports on the brother and sister were positive, she was in no doubt that giving evidence for them had been both difficult and harrowing.

After the sentencing, his victims, now in their 20s, talked of their satisfaction that Pedlow had been jailed.

“I am just glad that he got the length of time that he did get. It makes it worthwhile in a way for all that we have gone through,” said the girl.

Echoing his sister's comments, her brother said he was “doubly delighted”.

“I actually believed for a time that he would not get anything, such as being let-off with a suspended sentence, so I'm very pleased at the outcome.

“It has renewed my faith in the justice system. There are too many cases that you hear about where people just get slaps on the wrists,” he added.

During Pedlow's trial in June the court heard he abused the then nine-year-old girl and her seven-year-old brother during a three-month affair he had with their mother between November 1991 and January the following year.

While looking after them he would invite the youngsters into his bed to play with a computer only to abuse them while their mother trained with the police.

The abuse first came to light in September 2007 when her son told her how her former lover would get him to touch him, telling him: “It's all right, all little boys do it, but nobody talks about it.”

Following this initial complaint the woman talked to her daughter who also complained of being sexually abused by the man who told her “don’t tell anyone”, and that it was between her and him.

Defence QC John McCrudden said that since his conviction Pedlow had come under “a threat”, which has been reported to police, and that “he has suffered very considerably” and has become “somewhat isolated in the community”.

However, Mr McCrudden said while convicted of gross indecency and indecent assault, offences which “unhappily speak for themselves”, the abuse occurred over a relatively short period of time and was “not a campaign of sexual harassment”.

From The Belfast Telegraph