Larne family query child sex abuse sentence

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Court

A Larne family has claimed that a three-year probation order is not an appropriate sentence for a man who abused their child.

James Crawford McNeish, 48, of Walnut Road, pleaded guilty at Antrim Crown Court on June 10 to one count of intentionally attempting to incite a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity, one count of intentionally inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity and one count of intentionally sexually touching a child under 13 years.

The offences were committed between January 1-October 23, 2014. A 10-year Sexual Offences Prevention Order bans McNeish from associating with youngsters.

The young victim’s mother told the Larne Times the family are trying to come to terms with what has happened.

“My daughter has become quite withdrawn,” she revealed. “I think we will have to wait to see what the impact is on her psychologically.”

She added: “She has lost most of her childhood due to this. It has been a very hard situation for us to deal with, but we have had great support from our family.”

Another relative said: “I don’t think the sentence is enough. I would like to have seen him going to prison.”