March 2019

Carrick man jailed for historic sexual abuse of two girls

Two women who were abused as children by a male relative have welcomed the prison sentence handed to him at court today (Friday).

Wilson Holland, from Henly Road in Carrickfergus, was jailed for three-and-a-half years, placed on the Sex Offenders Register for life and will spend two years on probation when he is released from custody after he was convicted by a jury of the historic sexual abuse of two young girls.

Speaking after watching their abuser being sent to prison, the pair said it was fitting that the 66-year-old was jailed on International Women’s Day.

They also called on anyone who has suffered abuse to come forward.

Holland initially stood trial on 14 counts of indecent assault at Belfast Crown Court in March 2017 and was convicted by a jury of all the charges. He appealed the conviction, which was subsequently quashed in the Court of Appeal in June 2018, and faced a re-trial.

Following the second trial last month, Holland was once again found guilty by a jury of all the charges. Despite this, he continues to maintain his innocence and branded the evidence given by both women as “a fabrication” and “nonsense.”

Both victims- who were unaware they had both been targeted until details of the abuse emerged in 2014 – were indecently assaulted by Holland in his south Belfast home when his wife was out. At the time, he was in his 20s.

He abused one girl for several months between April 1974 and the following September when she was eight, while the second girl’s ordeal began in September 1978 when she was seven, and continued until December 1982.

Sending the father-of-three to prison, Judge Paul Ramsey noted the psychological impact his behaviour has had on the two injured parties, both of whom have been diagnosed with trauma-related disorders.

The Judge said: “No doubt, both complainants have been greatly vindicated and encouraged by the unanimous verdicts of the jury.”

The women, who are now 47 and 52, welcomed the sentence and thanked both the police and their family for supporting them.

The 52-year-old mum-of-three firmly believes she was groomed, and has described both what happened to her as a child, and the subsequent court proceedings, as “traumatic.”

She said: “What happened has devastated the family. It was a massive breach of trust, as he was trusted by the family. “

He used his dog as a ploy. He used to say ‘come over and see Penny the dog’, and he had a fishtank as well. When I think back, it was all about control.

“What happened to me has affected every area of my life – relationships, expectations, my self-worth. I have had anxiety all my life. I never said anything to anyone. I kept it all in for so long. This was back in the 70s, so I just thought no-one would believe me.”

Both women also expressed their satisfaction that Holland is on the Sex Offenders Register for Life, and has been banned from working with children.

The 47-year-old complainant, a mum-of-four, said: “I often wonder what my life would have been like if he hadn’t done to me what he did. I didn’t know about the other abuse until four years ago so again, so again I think would our lives have been different if it had come out then?

“It’s great that we got this verdict, but this is a life sentence for us. He made out in the trial that we were liars, but he’s the liar. I felt ashamed by what happened, I still feel sick and ashamed, but we were not adults. We were children.”

April 2017

Man jailed for sexual abuse of two young girls

A south Belfast man started a four-year prison sentence yesterday after he was convicted of repeatedly sexually abusing two young girls.

Wilson Holland, 64-years old of the Belvoir estate in South Belfast was told that he will spend an additional two years on probation following his release, after he was found guilty of 14 separate counts of indecent assault.

During a trial at Belfast Crown Court last month, a jury heard how the two girls were each targeted at Hollands then home in the Lisburn Road area.

Despite denials, he was convicted of indecently assaulting one girl between April 1974 when she was eight, and the following September when she was nine.

The second girl’s abuse began in September 1978, when she was seven, and continued until the end of 1982.

The offences ranged in seriousness from sexual touching to digital penetration and penetration with an object

Trial judge His Honour Geoffrey Miller QC said an aggravating feature was the defendant’s continual denials of wrong-doing.

Judge Miller said the two victims were “carrying the impact of abuse for many years”.

He revealed that while one of the females displays signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, the second victim has been diagnosed with an adjustment order.