Man, 49, jailed for 15 months for decade of ‘heinous’ sexual abuse of two young victims

Belfast Crown Court has today jailed a man for 15 months for a decade of “heinous” and “devastating” sexual abuse of two young victims.

Friday, 30th April 2021, 7:57 pm
Updated Friday, 30th April 2021, 8:16 pm

James Junior Craig, 49, denied the offences of indecent assault against a female and gross indecency with or towards a child, however he was found guilty of five of the seven offences.

Today he received a sentence of 30 months at Belfast Crown Court. Half his sentence will be served in custody while the remainder is to be served on licence.

He will also be subject to a Sexual Offences Prevention Order for seven years, and will be required to sign the Sex Offenders Register for life.

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Laganside Courts and Royal Courts of Justice, Chichester Street, Belfast. Picture: Diane Magill

Detective Chief Inspector Gary McDonald from the PSNI’s Public Protection Branch said Craig abused the pair over a decade and “robbing them of their innocence, causing a devastating impact on their young lives”.

He added: “The victims, who are now adults, found the courage to disclose to police the details of what was a protracted and heinous series of offences perpetrated against them by Craig.  As a result of their determination, we were able to bring him before the courts and see justice served.

“While today’s sentencing will, of course, never undo the horror of Craig’s actions, I hope this outcome will not only bring a degree of closure to the victims, but also encourage others who have experienced any form of sexual abuse to come forward and contact police.  It is never too late to make a report.”

Mr McDonald said anyone who has been a victim of sexual abuse should lift the phone and call the PSNI, as they will be treated sensitively and any report will be thoroughly investigated.

“PSNI’s Public Protection Branch has specially trained officers who will treat those who report a sexual offence with compassion, respect and care. Victims can be assured that we will support them every step of the way.

“We remain determined to bring anyone involved in any form of sexual abuse before the courts to answer for their crimes, no matter when they occurred.”

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