Jim McGuinness jailed for 15 months for sex offences

Jim McGuinness.
Jim McGuinness.

A well-known former photographer from Lurgan has been jailed for 15 months after pleading guilty to six counts of indecent assault on a girl.

Jim McGuinness from River Glade Manor admitted six specimen counts of indecently assaulting a young girl around 50 years ago.

McGuinness, now aged 76, pleaded guilty to six counts of indecent assault on the same female on dates between April 30, 1962, and June 10, 1965.

He was sentenced to 15 months on each charge, to run concurrently.

He was also ordered not to have contact with children for five years and must pay a £25 Offenders Levy.

A prosecution barrister told Craigavon Crown Court that McGuinness had appeared on June 4 this year on ten charges dating from 1962 to 1965 and he pleaded not guilty.

The case was listed again for June 26 and McGuinness pleaded guilty to six of the ten charges.

Judge Patrick Lynch, prior to sentencing the accused, described the offences as ‘grave’ and pointed to the ‘persistent effect’ these offences had on the injured party including throughout her marriage. The judge said aggravating features included the repeated nature of the offences, the young age of the injured party and the effect it had on her.

The judge accepted that the defendant had publicly accepted responsibility and constitutes no risk to society at this time and that he had his own health problems.

At a previous hearing last Friday, a barrister revealed McGuinness had appeared before Craigavon Court in May 2014 regarding allegations of indecently assaulting an eight-year-old girl. He was subsequently convicted. The injured party had read reports about this case and decided to go to the police about indecent assaults she had suffered as a girl in the 1960s.

The barrister said that the injured party remembers that it was summer time but before school was over and she was still wearing her school uniform when the first incident happened. He pushed her against a wall and put his hand down her pants, indecently assaulting her. She had cried for him to stop. On other occasions he had pushed her to the ground and indecently assaulted her. This continued for two to three years.

Defence barrister Joel Lindsay said his client is a man with four children, seven grandchildren and three great grandchildren and there had been no complaints. “This has come as a shock to his family. He is sorry for his actions.”