NewsNorthern Ireland

Threats force Shankill perv to flee home

Northern IrelandBy Steven Moore
Allister Cousins
Allister Cousins
Allister Cousins in his band uniform
Allister Cousins in his band uniform

A notorious Shankill loyalist convicted of a string of sex offences has been forced to flee his home, a court has been told.

Lawyers representing former UDA member Allister Alexander Cousins told Belfast Crown Court he had been intimidated from his Hopewell Crescent home.

The 70-year-old pervert, who served time for paramilitary offences during the Troubles, was due to be sentenced on Thursday after pleading guilty to three counts of indecent assault.

However the case was adjourned after a barrister representing Cousins told the court he was suffering from mental stress since he was convicted and his daughter had made an appointment for him to see a psychiatrist next week.

On hearing this Judge Kerr offered Mr Cousins the chance to have the sentence deferred until he had read the report from the psychiatrist.

It emerged that a probation report had not been completed as Cousins had been forced to leave the area due to threats.

Balding Mr Cousins had appeared in the dock wearing a dark jacket, black glasses and with tattoos on his hands.

A source who knows Cousins well told the Sunday World: “There won’t be much sympathy for Allister Cousins I can tell you that.

 

“He’s not very popular on the Shankill that’s for sure – I’m surprised he was kicked off the road years ago.

 

“It’s great to see him ruined over this because back in the day he was a UDA man who thought he was jack-the-lad and could get away with whatever he wants.

 

“If he’s suffering mental stress then he thoroughly deserves it.”

The sneaky predator sat in the dock with his head bowed and shook his head as a Prosecution barrister read the details of the sordid case.

The court heard how Cousins had abused a position of trust.

The abuse started when the girl was just 14 and there were several incidents of Cousins touching the girl’s breasts and then later sliding his hand down her trousers.

The historical charges dated back to between 1986-1989 and took place in Belfast.

The victim made a complaint to the police in July 2012.

The court heard how the victim, who sat in the public gallery during the hearing, had struggled to cope since she had been attacked.

Cousins has previous convictions but not for sexual offences. The court was told he had two convictions for robbery which were associated with paramilitaries.

Cousins had a long career in the UDA and was well known in loyalist circles in west Belfast.

At an earlier hearing the victim told the Sunday World they were “relieved” at the guilty verdicts.

“I don’t want to say too much until he has been sentenced but I am relieved that he has finally admitted what he did,” she said.

The Sunday World understands a series of other complaints have been made to police about Cousins in the past.

He had been facing a string of other charges in a separate trial for alleged rape of two other women but those proceedings have been stayed.

Those offences were alleged to have taken place in the early ’70s.

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