Co Antrim man pleads guilty to sex abuse charges


A 57-year-old Co Antrim man was put on the Sex Offenders’ Register on Monday after he pleaded guilty to charges of historical sex abuse dating back over two decades ago.

Joseph McDowell with an address in Bryans House, Manse Drive in Newtownabbey, admitted a total of six charges of gross indecency with, or towards a child between October 31 and December 1, 1993.

McDowell, who is profoundly deaf, made his pleas before Belfast Crown Court, with the help of a sign language interpreter.

No details surrounding the sex abuse of his single victim, who cannot be named to protect their identity, were given to Judge Alastair Devlin, who released McDowell on continuing bail until next month when he will be sentenced.

Given his guilty pleas, McDowell was made to sign on the Sex Offenders’ Register immediately.

However, the period of his registration will depend on the sentence he receives and could range from several months to life.