A 68-year old Belfast man who carried out a sex act on a teenager was given a three-year probation order on Friday.
Judge Patricia Smyth said that had Colin Moffatt not already spent the equivalent of a two-year sentence on remand, she would have handed him a jail term.
Moffatt, from Albertbridge Road, admitted sexually touching the boy, 14, on a date between September 20 and October 14 last year.
Crown prosecutor Kate McKay said the offence came to light at the end of last October, when a police welfare officer called at the boy’s home. The officer informed his family that his friend had witnessed an incident in Moffatt’s home involving him and the pensioner.
Judge Smyth said the incident lasted only a short period of time, but stressed those who abused children deserved to be punished.
Moffatt will attend a sexual offenders treatment programme and was ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register for five years.