Jail for foster father who abused girls

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A Dromore foster father who admitted for a second time abusing youngsters in his care, including a young girl with learning difficulties, was handed a three-year sentence yesterday (Monday).

Judge Gordon Kerr QC told 66-year-old Brian Jackson, who was already on probation for abusing a girl, that only a jail term would merit the breach of trust he displayed for offending which was committed over a prolonged period.

The Belfast Crown Court judge said that Jackson carried out “multiple offending on vulnerable girls to satisfy his own lust”.

The pensioner – who is already on the Sex Offenders Register – was informed that he will serve half of his sentence in prison, with the remaining 18 months spent on supervised licence upon his release.

Jackson, who along with his wife fostered around 50 children during their careers as carers, had been serving a period on probation for previous convictions in relation to four indecent assaults against another young girl, prior to being jailed yesterday.

From Beresford Hill in Dromore, the father-of-four admitted a total of 13 charges against three children. The abuse of the girls took place over a period spanning from May 1998 to July 2010.

At a previous hearing at Belfast Crown Court, prosecuting barrister Margaret-Ann Dinsmore QC said the Jacksons were approved as foster carers in March 1985, and that they fostered around 50 children. In October 2012 one of the children they fostered made a complaint against Jackson, claiming he had abused her on several occasions.

Ms Dinsmore said that this victim, who is now aged 29, made the case that she was targeted by her foster father “four or five times a month over a period of two years when she was aged between 12 and 14”.

Another of Jackson’s victims, who was fostered by the couple when she was aged around six, was removed from their care when she reported that Jackson had stuck his tongue in her mouth.

A third victim, who has learning difficulties, was fostered by the Jacksons when she was aged 12 to 14.

The girl subsequently told her grandmother she had been abused by Jackson on two separate occasions when she was 13.