March 2018

‘Predatory paedophile’ jailed

Gerald Judge

A ‘predatory paedophile’ who abused and tried to sexually assault a teenage school boy more than 30 years ago was jailed for seven years today (Thursday, March 22).

It’s the second time that former Portadown businessman Gerard Judge (63) has been convicted and jailed for the offences he committed against the then 14-year-old boy and today at Craigavon Crown Court

Judge Patrick Lynch QC said that despite his actions having a “profound effect” on the life of his victim, Judge still denies any wrongdoing.

“There’s been no acknowledgement of guilt, no acceptance by you that you are a sexual predator of young children and no remorse has been shown,” said Judge Lynch.

At the end of his trial last month, the fifth trial in the case Judge, from Millbrook Court in Lurgan, was convicted of six counts of indecent assault and one of attempted buggery against his victim, all committed on dates between 2 April 1980 and 1 April 1983.

Judge had been convicted and jailed for five years in an earlier hearing in 2015 but those convictions were quashed by the Court of Appeal in 2017 and following that, other trials had to be aborted for legal reasons and a jury failed to reach a verdict in one hearing.

Last month however, a jury unanimously convicted Judge having heard how the businessman began the abuse by “rubbing himself” on the victim from behind but that the abuse soon escalated to mutual inappropriate touching with the boy who was around 13 or 14-years-old at the time.

Setting the facts out briefly today (Thursday), prosecuting QC Peter Irvine reminded the court the “sexual rubbing occurred on a number of occasions” in a pub that Judge part owned.

He outlined how on other occasions, there was inappropriate touching, masturbation and performing sex acts with the schoolboy when Judge “played pornographic movies” in the upstairs bar.

The most serious incident, said the lawyer, happened on one such occasion when the victim’s trousers were “down at his knees” and Judge tried to bugger the boy.

“The victim felt the defendants penis at his backside, he was crying and struggling and eventually the defendant gave up,” Mr Irvine told the court.

He submitted that the last incident, when Judge drove his victim “four or five miles away” to a car park and forced him to touch his private parts and perform a sex act on him, involved a “clear element of planning and preparation in the offending” in order to “isolate the victim” which was an aggravating factor.

In addition, he further submitted there were other aggravating features including the age and vulnerability of the victim, the offences were committed “over a protracted period,” the offences represented a “breach of trust” and the “profound effects” the behaviour had on the victim who was now an alcoholic suffering from PTSD.

Sentencing the paedophile Judge Lynch said he “takes a different view” and could see no role for probation intervention “given your attitude at trial and the attitude you evinced in the witness box and to probation.”

As well as the seven year jail term, Judge was ordered to sign the police sex offenders register “indefinitely” and banned from working with children.

December 2015

Pervert sentenced to five-years for abusing schoolboy

Portadown businessman Gerard Judge has been sentenced to five years in prison for child sex offences.

Judge (61), whose address was given as Millbrook Court, Lurgan, appeared in the dock at Craigavon Crown Court today (Thursday) after being remanded in custody on Tuesday.

He was found guilty in October by a majority verdict of seven indecent assaults on a male and one charge of attempted buggery of a boy under 16.

The offences took place between April 1980 and April 1983 against a schoolboy, who worked part-time for Judge in his bar and was aged around 14 at the time.

County Court Judge Patrick Kinney said a lengthy custodial sentence was required in the case, as the level of culpability was high “with a commensurate level of harm to the victim”.

The court heard the victim has struggled with alcohol addiction and suicidal thoughts, and Judge Kinney said he hoped the sentencing would “bring closure” to him.

Judge, who always denied the charges, was also sentenced to one year’s probation.

October 2015

Chip shop owner guilty on child sex charges

A Portadown businessman has been found guilty of child sex charges dating back 35 years.

Gerard Judge (61), who owns Busby’s Chip Shop in Churchill Park, had denied the eight charges but was convicted by a jury at Craigavon Crown Court on Monday.

Judge, a married father-of-four, will be sentenced at the same court on December 8.

The jury found him guilty by a majority verdict of seven indecent assaults on a male and one of attempted buggery of a boy under 16 years.

All the assaults took place between April 1980 and April 1983 and relate to the same victim, who would have been around 14 at the time. He cannot be named to protect his identity.

The offences took place in The Yachtsman, a Portadown town centre pub owned by Judge at the time, and at a car park in Maghery.

The victim had a part-time job in the bar at weekends, and this is where the abuse began.

The court heard he has since struggled with alcohol addiction.