July 2017

Stepdad molested schoolgirl while she lay in bed unwell

A stepdad molested the 14-year-old daughter of his long-term partner after using a temperamental bedroom TV set as cover for a sordid double sexual assault.

Daniel Byrne, 32 — who preyed on the schoolgirl while she was unwell — repeatedly entered her room and stared at her as she lay in bed in her pyjamas with a throat infection.

But the twisted pervert waited until the child had gone to the room he shared with her mother before twice groping one of her breasts and asking if she was okay.

Greenock Sheriff Court heard how Byrne seized his chance to assault the vulnerable youngster after she’d asked for help in getting the television to work.

Procurator fiscal depute Kevin Doherty said: “Daniel Byrne sat beside the girl on her right-hand side and he rubbed her back with his left hand, then her shoulder, down the front of her pyjama top and over the right cup of her bra.

“He placed his hand inside her bra and rubbed the right side of her right breast.

“The girl was not happy about this and she sat up and tried to discourage him.

“Daniel Byrne then sat up and hugged her and asked if she was okay.

“He then touched her right breast again.”

The court heard how Byrne, of Angus Road in Greenock, was disturbed by an unwitting pal who was visiting and had been drinking with him.

Byrne had been in a relationship with his victim’s mother for seven years prior to the incident on March 4.

Prosecutor Mr Doherty said: “The girl went to bed and several times she was aware of Daniel Byrne being in her room and looking at her.

“Daniel Byrne had no cause to go to her room at all.

“The girl then went into her mum’s bed to watch a film.

“She spoke to her mother because she was having difficulty in getting the TV to work.

“The mother asked Daniel Byrne to help and he agreed to this.

“She was then wondering what was taking him so long.”

The court heard how Byrne’s disgusting behaviour came to light the following morning when the girl’s mother asked her if she wanted any breakfast.

Mr Doherty said: “The girl was angry and upset and she made it clear that she didn’t want anything from Daniel Byrne.

“Her mum questioned her as to why and the girl replied, ‘He thinks it’s alright to touch wee lassies’.

“The girl told her mother in detail what had happened and the mother was distraught at her account.”

Mr Doherty told how Byrne admitted touching the girl when he was confronted by her mother.

The prosecutor said: “At this point the girl’s mother ended her relationship with Daniel Byrne and insisted that he left the family home.

“The girl was interviewed by police and was noted to be extremely upset.”

Byrne — who sat with his head bowed in the dock while the facts of the case were narrated — gave a ‘no comment’ interview to police and made no reply on being cautioned and charged.

He maintained his innocence for months after the incident but finally pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting the youngster within a residential property in Greenock on the day he had been due to stand trial on the matter.

Sheriff David Hall deferred sentence until August 14 and a background report, a risk assessment and an electronic tagging order evaluation.

The sheriff also automatically placed Byrne on the Sex Offenders Register.