Councillor lodges appeal after he gets four months jail term at Antrim Magistrates Court for sexually assaulting teenage girl; Council issues statement to ‘Ballymena Daily’ saying they are ‘currently taking advice on the matter’

Brian Duffin
Cllr Brian Duffin

A councillor who was given a four months jail sentence at Antrim Magistrates Court on Tuesday for sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl has lodged an appeal.

Brian Duffin (73), whose address was given as Cargin Road near Toomebridge, is listed as an Independent on the website of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council. He is a former member of the SDLP.

Previously in court he had denied the sexual assault but was convicted after a contest.

He was back at Antrim Magistrates Court on Tuesday for sentencing in connection with the offence which happened in June, 2016.

As well as the jail term, District Judge Nigel Broderick also imposed a Sexual Offences Prevention Order and Duffin also has to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register.

Under the terms of the Sexual Offences Prevention Order, Duffin is prohibited from, without reasonable cause or excuse, directly or indirectly having or seeking to have contact or association with, or access to any young person 17 years and under unless approved by Social Services and his designated risk Manager (DRM), except for contact that is inadvertent and unavoidable in the defendant’s lawful daily activities.

He is prohibited from entering into any friendship or intimate relationship with any person without first informing his DRM who will confirm if verifiable disclosure of his offending history is required.

The defendant is prohibited from residing or staying overnight at any address unless approved by his DRM.

Duffin is prohibited from frequenting any facilities designed specifically for children’s education or play, or loitering in areas where children congregate without prior approval of his DRM.

The defendant must engage with professionals tasked with his risk management and actively participate in any risk management plan created or adapted for him.

He is prohibited from any contact direct or indirect with the injured party.

The defendant is prohibited from denying any police access to his home to ensure he is complying with the terms of the Sexual Offences Prevention Order.

Duffin was released on his own bail of £500 pending appeal.

After the court hearing, a spokeswoman for Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council told ‘Ballymena Daily’: “The Council is currently taking advice on the matter”.

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