Tuesday, November 28, 2023


AN elderly Newcastle man has been jailed for what detectives have described as “sickening” sexual offences. At Newry Crown Court last Wednesday (6 July) Sean Small (80), of Slievenabrock Avenue in Newcastle, received a six-year sentence, with three years to be served in prison and three years on licence. He pleaded guilty to four counts of sexual assault, three counts of sexual assault by penetration, two counts of sexual activity by an adult with a child under 16 years old and one count of intentionally inciting a child under 16 to engage in a sexual activity. One of his two victims this week told the Mourne Observer she had been suicidal as a result of what she had gone through. She is also afraid to leave her house. “I used to go out, but now I am trapped in my own house and I don’t go out,” she said. “Even though he is behind bars, I still don’t feel safe going out at the minute.” Small will be placed on the Sex Offenders Register for life. There will also be a restraining order in place for ten years. Speaking after the case concluded at Newry Crown Court last Wednesday, detectives praised his victims for their bravery in coming forward so he could face justice. They also appealed to anyone who has experienced any form of sexual abuse or assault to contact the police. Detective constables Karen Mills and Neill McRoberts said: “The offences committed by Sean Small are sickening. “He is a highly manipulative individual who befriended two families in order to sexually exploit one underage girl and one young woman. “They will now both carry the trauma of what happened to them at the hands of this man for the rest of their lives. “We thank them for their bravery in coming forward and reporting to us so that we could bring him to court today to answer for his crimes against them. “We do not want victims to feel they have to suffer in silence. “We would continue to encourage anyone who has experienced any form of sexual abuse or assault to contact police on 101, or in an emergency call 999. We have specially trained detectives who can help you, no matter when the abuse happened.” The mother of one of the young women who came forward described the defendant as a “dangerous human being”. “Sean Small is a sexual predator and dangerous human being who I trusted with my daughter,” she said. “He manipulated us all and told her if she spoke out that she wouldn’t be believed – but she was. “We would like to thank the Police Service of Northern Ireland, Public Prosecution Service and the courts for taking this case on and for believing in my child and helping her and myself through this horrible ordeal.” At last week’s sentencing His Honour Judge Gordon Kerr said that “society expects that vulnerable people are protected from sexual predators”.

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