Page last updated at 11:23 GMT, Tuesday, 23 June 2009 12:23 UK

Rapist shot by republicans jailed

Londonderry Court

A man has been jailed for seven and a half years for raping a 15-year-old schoolgirl in Londonderry in 2000.

Keith John Burnside, 38, from Rosemount Gardens, attacked his victim in his car at Sandbank Cottages after he gave her a lift.

Judge Pat Lynch said it was a "planned and premeditated" attack, though his choice of victim was opportunistic.

The sentencing was postponed after Burnside was shot in both legs by dissident republicans in March.

Londonderry Crown Court heard that the victim got into Burnside's car because she knew him and accepted a lift home.

Instead he drove her to a remote spot where he raped her before driving her home.

During sentencing, the judge said the victim suffered from a negative perception of herself but he hoped the conviction would allow her to get on and lead a very full and fruitful life.

'Cowardly people'

The judge also condemned those who had shot Burnside, and said there was "no room for vigilantism in our society".

He said the attack was carried out by cowardly people, and said there was no justification in carrying out such an attack in front of children.

He said the people who carried it out were as much child abusers as Burnside.

The judge said that Burnside had also allowed the court to mislead the jury, by concealing a previous conviction for kerb-crawling in Teesside.

He said Burnside posed a risk of future re-offending, and imposed a sexual offences prevention order for seven years which forbids him from access to children under 18.

Burnside was also ordered to sign the sex offenders' register for an indeterminate period.



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