December 2004

Man given four years for abusing schoolgirl

A man who “groomed” his ex-girlfriend’s schoolgirl sister before sexually abusing her was ordered to be detained for four years today.

However speaking outside Belfast Crown Court, the girl’s mother said she did not think it was long enough and declared: “Basically, I hope he rots in hell.”

Earlier, Judge Tom Burgess told 20-year-old Robert John Mitchell of Mount Veron Gardens, Belfast, that while he was abusing the girl between October 2000 and August 2001, he had deprived her of the freedom “to grow and develop and enjoy” her childhood.

He added that his young victim, who would have been between seven and eight years-old when she was subjected to Mitchell’s inappropriate touching, had been left suffering from flashbacks and “feelings of self-disgust, shame and even guilt”.