7 °CTue, 20

Peado postie shows no remorse, court hears

Email:

lisa.gregg@thechronicle.uk.com

THE sentencing of a Ballycastle man found guilty of multiple indecent assaults has been delayed.

Former postman Daniel James Hill of Clare Road, in the town, had already been found guilty of seven out of eleven counts of indecent assault against three young schoolgirls in July at Antrim Crown Court.

Hill was due to be sentenced last Thursday morning, but Judge Sherrard adjourned the case until next month, as the pensioner is due to have a prostate biopsy later this month.

On Thursday morning, the court heard that 68-year-old Daniel James Hill maintains he has done nothing wrong - despite the guilty verdicts.

The case, and sentencing, has been delayed on numerous occasions since the first victim came forward in 2012.

During Hill's month-long trial, the jury heard how the three girls would come to his house to play with his daughter - the same house where they would be sexually abused from around the age of five until they were around 10.

In court on Thursday, prosecuting lawyer Tessa Kitson reminded the court how the first victim had testified that Hill had touched her breasts under her clothing “approximately 20 times”.

Mr Hill was convicted of three counts of indecent assault against this victim and the lawyer said that Hill also touched her between her legs “over her clothing”.

Another victim gave testimony that Hill had put his hands down the back of her pyjama bottoms, on more than one occasion.

Mrs Kitson said the third victim described how Hill had groped her around the area of her chest, also “on a number of occasions”.

Mrs Kitson said that there were numerous aggravating features in Hill’s case, stating that there should be “serious consideration” given to imposing consecutive sentences as the guilty man has shown “no degree of remorse”.

Defence QC Peter Irvine confirmed that Hill maintains his innocence, but submitted that the nature of the offences the jury had convicted him of are “at the lower end of the scale of indecent assaults”.

Following courtroom discussions between the lawyer and Judge Sherrard, the judge said the result of Hill’s prostate biopsy and potential future treatment may affect the sentence, however he also said that “it may very well be that it makes absolutely no difference”.

Judge Sherrard concluded that the issue needs to be properly investigated before he proceeds. Hill was released on bail with another hearing scheduled at Antrim courthouse for November 8.

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