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Last Updated: Friday, 11 June, 2004, 14:50 GMT 15:50 UK
Pair admit boy sex offences
Courts image
Two Londonderry men who admitted sex offences against a 15-year-old boy whom they met through the internet have been given suspended sentences.

Thomas Jarlath Conway, 41, and David Neil McGilton, 34, both from Summerhill Park in Prehen, were both placed on the sex offenders register for five years.

Judge Corinne Philpott told the pair they had escaped jail because the boy was a willing participant and there was no evidence of coercion.

McGilton admitted two serious sexual offences and one charge of gross indecency, while Conway pleaded guilty to one serious sexual offence charge.

McGilton received a four-year jail term suspended for five years, and Conway was sentenced to two years, also suspended for five years.

The boy, who was nearly 16, was assaulted at the men's home. All the offences happened on the same date in 2003.

Internet contact

Londonderry Crown Court was told how the pair made contact with the boy on the internet and had agreed to meet him.

The teenager went willingly to the defendants' home.

A number of weeks later, his mother contacted police and reported the abuse.

Officers found evidence of child pornography on the boy's computer.

When questioned, the defendants told police they did not know the boy was only 15.

Passing sentence, the judge said the injured party was a willing participant who had instigated the original meeting.

She said there was no evidence of coercion or violence, and probation reports showed the defendants presented no risk to society and were unlikely to re-offend.

However, she added that they had exploited the victim.


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