June 2017

Former St Helens mayor admits sexually abusing children

An ex-St Helens mayor who sexually abused four young boys today refused to apologise to his victims.

Yesterday John Beirne finally admitted molesting the children in the 1970s and 1980s.

The 55-year-old, of Blackdown Grove in St Helens, denied 14 offences and was set to stand trial at Liverpool Crown Court.

But yesterday afternoon the disgraced former UKIP and Lib Dem representative pleaded guilty to eight of the charges.

Beirne confessed to abusing his victims, who were between the ages of eight and 12, when he was 14 and 15.

The hairdresser – who sat as a local councillor in the borough for 22 years – is also known for his TV appearances.

Yet the sex offender hid from cameras when questioned this afternoon whether he had any comment to make about his crimes.

He shuffled uneasily in the dock as he admitted indecently assaulting one boy in a bedroom by touching his naked genitalia.

Beirne indecently assaulted the same victim, aged between eight and 10, in a shed by thrusting his naked genitalia against the victim’s genitalia.

He pleaded guilty to committing the same two offences against a second child, who was aged 10 and 11 at the time, on a grass area.

Beirne admitted indecently assaulting and indecency with a third child, aged 11 and 12, who he touched and made touch him.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of indecency with a fourth boy, aged 10 to 11, who he touched and made touch him in a shed.

Ben Jones, prosecuting, said he would ask for the remaining counts to be ordered to lie on the file.

Judge Robert Warnock said this report by probation officers would “consider all options” and granted Beirne bail.

He ordered him to sign on the Sex Offenders Register and made him subject to an interim notification order.

Beirne sat on the council between 1990 and 2012 and took on the prestigious role of mayor in 2008.

No longer a councillor, he stood in last year’s local elections as an Independent, losing out to Labour in the Sutton ward.

He made headlines for a gaffe when he appeared on an episode of the hit BBC One quiz show Weakest Link aired in 2009.

The mayor, who had urged people to shop locally in St Helens to save jobs, admitted he shopped in Manchester instead.

Anne Robinson asked if his mother bought new outfits for his mayorship in St Helens.

Beirne, a hairdresser who owned Avanti in Westfield Street, St Helens, was voted out after the second round of the quiz.

He has also released a number of albums, including charity records, with his pop/gospel combo, the Celebration Choir.

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