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09 Dec 2021

County Derry pensioner found guilty of litany of sex offences against ten primary school children

County Derry pensioner found guilty of litany of sex offences against ten primary school children

A jury at Derry Crown Court sitting in Coleraine has found a 68 year-old man guilty of a litany of sex offences against ten primary school children over a 13 year period starting in September 2005.


William Patterson from Magherafelt Road in Tobermore was found guilty by a unanimous verdict on a total of 32 offences against six girls and four boys between September 1, 2005 and August 7, 2018.


The offences occurred both inside and outside the defendant's home where the defendant's wife Elizabeth, known as Beth, ran a childminding business.

The charges included engaging in sexual activity in the presence of children for his personal gratification, indecent exposure, causing or inciting children to engage in sexual activity and sexually assaulting children.


Following the verdict Judge Philip Babington told the jury that the defendant had previously been found guilty after a trial in June of similar offences and sent into custody then.


He said that in total there had been more than 80 charges involving 19 children in all.


He directed that a pre-sentence report be prepared on the defendant and that that should be ready for early January.


The judge said due to calendar difficulties he may not sentence Patterson on January 7 but he would in all likelihood sentence him in late January.

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