Sex attack pensioner walks free from court despite years of abusing young girl
A pervert pensioner has been spared jail for years of abuse against a young girl after a judge showed him “considerable mercy” because he is too ill.
Sick John Nolan was handed a suspended sentence for a catalogue of assaults on his victim including one in which she was “crying throughout” as a seven-year-old girl.
Imposing the 18-month jail term but suspending it for three years, Downpatrick Crown Court Judge Piers Grant told 82-year-old Nolan that although his offending deserved a prison sentence, “having read the medical reports, I am satisfied that… the court should, in the particular circumstances of this case, exercise considerable mercy”.
Last month Nolan, a former director of the Ulster Museum pleaded guilty to four sex offences including two of indecent assault and two of committing acts of gross indecency with the girl on dates unknown between December 31, 1974 and April, 12 1984.
During his plea in mitigation last week, defence QC John McCrudden told the judge that to send Nolan, from plush Bladon Drive in Belfast, to prison “would essentially be a death sentence,” outlining how, in the last two months especially, the physical and psychiatric health of the 82-year-old has deteriorated and declined to such an extent that he is quickly becoming gripped by the onset of dementia.
An earlier court heard how after taking the seven-year-old schoolgirl for a walk across fields near his holiday home in Killough, Co Down, Nolan laid a blanket on the ground and ordered her to strip and lie down on it before touching her private parts with prosecuting lawyer Sam Magee describing how his young victim was “crying throughout”.
Mr Magee described how there was another occasion when the girl was around eight and had been having a sleepover at Nolan’s former home on the Cavehill Road when she was ordered her to strip off and get washed in the kitchen in front of him.
While the judge said he was extending “mercy and clemency” towards Nolan, he told the paedophile there were a number of aggravating factors in what he had done, not least the substantial age difference between him and his victim, the breach of the trust which had been placed in him and the way his victim was “humiliated” during the incident in the kitchen.
Judge Grant told the court he was satisfied, given the historical nature of the offences and Nolan’s clear record that he was not a “sexual predator” and that given those factors, along with his age and ill health, that he did not pose a significant risk of harm to the public by reoffending.
As well as the suspended jail term, the judge ordered Nolan to sign the police sex offenders register for 10 years and also imposed a Sexual Offences Prevention Order.
OAP faces up to 10 years’ jail for abuse
THIS is the paedo pensioner who faces up to 10 years in jail after he admitted abusing a girl more than 30 years ago.
Lawyers for 82-year-old John Nolan had asked Judge Piers Grant to bar the media from reporting his identity but the Downpatrick Crown Court judge refused, saying it was up to the press to protect his victim’s right to anonymity.
Nolan, from Bladen Drive in East Belfast, pleaded guilty to two offences of indecent assault and two of committing acts of gross indecency with a female child.
The incidents took place between December 1974 and April 1984 but no facts of the decade of abuse were revealed to the court.
Before being released on bail, Nolan was forced to sign the sex offenders’ register.
Judge Grant adjourned sentencing until next month, pending a probation report and a victim impact report.