February 2005

Babysitter jailed for teen abuse

A 57-year-old man has been jailed for 15 months for abusing his friend’s 13-year-old daughter while babysitting.

In December, a jury at Downpatrick Crown Court found Thomas Carson Reid of Ashbury Road, Bangor, guilty of seven counts of indecent assault.

Judge Desmond Marrinan said on Friday that the abuse was “almost always confined to kissing” although Reid had the opportunity to push it further.

He said it showed Reid’s “conscience continued to work” as he abused her.

The judge told Reid he had abused his position as a trusted family friend to indecently assault the girl, adding that he would be “failing in my duty” if he did not send him to jail.

The abuse took place between May 1989 and December 1992, when the victim was aged between 12 and 15 years old, the jury heard.

They were told that the married man started to abuse the girl, who is now 27, while he was looking after her in her own home and also in his caravan on the north Down coast.

His victim told the jury that Reid started kissing her “inappropriately” when she was about 12-years-old and that he once performed a sex act on her.

She also told the jury that the abuse continued until New Year’s Eve in 1992 when she pleaded with Reid to stop, eventually threatening him with a kitchen knife.

Reid’s defence QC told the court that since he was convicted, he and his wife have been subjected to threats and abuse.

He said that Reid, who still maintains his innocence, had since resigned from his job after his employers had “put a proposition to him that he go or be pushed”.

The barrister added that there was “absolutely no risk” of him reoffending.

Speaking outside the court, the victim’s father said he was “absolutely disgusted” at Reid’s 15-month sentence.

“Fifteen months for a convicted paedophile? There’s no justice there,” he said.

December 2004

Sex beast babysitter

A sleazy pervert betrayed one of his friends by sexually-abusing his pal’s young daughter.

Sex-fiend Thomas Carson Reid, from Bangor, was found guilty at Downpatrick Magistrate’s Court on Friday on seven counts of indecent assault.

Evil Reid was released on £500 bail, and ordered to surrender his passport.

Reid, of Ashbury Road in the town, is a well-known figure in the local travel industry.

He is due to be sentenced for his crimes, next month.

Reid (56) abused the young girl – who cannot be identified for legal reasons – between 1989 and 1992.

He committed the vile acts while he was baby-sitting her at her home, and also at his caravan on the north Down coast.

The court was told how the victim threatened Reid with a knife, after he ignored her desperate pleas to stop abusing her.

Speaking to Sunday Life last night, she said she was relieved her nightmare had finally ended.

She said: “I’m just glad this whole thing is now over.

“The last two weeks have been absolute hell for me and my family and friends.

“I’m just glad I have been vindicated and the court believed me, because everything I said about what happened to me was the truth.

“This man was a friend of my dad’s and he betrayed his trust, because he was allowed to babysit me.

“My parents never thought he would do something like this.

“I’m also delighted this nightmare is now over now and I can finally get on with my life.

“Friday’s verdict means that this episode in my life is now resigned to the past.”

She also urged any other victims of Reid to come forward.

She added: “I don’t know if there are other victims of Reid out there but, if there are, I would seriously urge them to come forward.

“I suffered in silence for many years. But I felt I just had to come forward to tell my story and bring my nightmare to an end.

“Reid had no problem abusing me. Who’s to say he didn’t do the same things to other kids, around the same time?”

Her father said he hopes his former friend gets the maximum penalty allowed when he is sentenced next month.

He added: “I am very, very proud of my daughter, who had the courage and determination to bring this beast to justice.

“My daughter always said that if she could save one child from sexual abuse, then it will all have been worth it.

“We would also like to thank Victim Support for all their help.

“They really are the unsung heroes of the courtroom.”