Sicko | 

Antrim pervert who asked child (14) to perform sex act during church service avoids jail

Sicko Stanley Richmond (60) was later forced to leave his home after being attacked by a hammer-wielding vigilante

Stock photo© Getty Images

Antrim Courthouse© PA

Paul HigginsSunday Life

A pervert who left a teenage girl shaking with terror after he asked her to perform a sex act on him in a church has walked free from court.

Stanley Richmond pleaded guilty to inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and sexual communication with a child ahead of a hearing at Antrim Crown Court.

The 14-year-old victim was on her way to the toilet during a Sunday service in April last year when 60-year-old Richmond, who she did not know, asked her about her sex life.

A prosecution lawyer told an earlier hearing: “She walked past him, into the corridor that leads to the toilets. He followed and asked her to [perform a sex act on him].”

Instead of going to the toilet, the girl returned to her family, raised the alarm and pointed out Richmond as the culprit.

Arrested and interviewed by the police, the defendant denied asking about her sex life and said he did not remember anything else.

Antrim Courthouse© PA

He was freed on bail but forced to leave his home on Kilmakevit Crescent in Cullybackey after he was attacked by a hammer-wielding vigilante who left him with a badly bruised head and legs.

His lawyer described the incident as a revenge attack and told the court his client was in the process of selling the property.

They stressed Richmond had already lived a “somewhat isolated life” and that the assault had exacerbated that.

Appealing for a suspended sentence rather than jail, the lawyer told the court the pervert had pleaded guilty, had no previous convictions for sexual offending and had been assessed as posing a low risk of reoffending.

However, the judge noted a number of aggravating factors in the case.

These included the disparity in ages between the offender and his victim, the location where he committed the crimes and the “persistence” he showed in following the girl after initially speaking to her.

As well as praising the victim’s bravery in coming forward, the judge criticised the vigilante behind the attack on Richmond for “thinking it is acceptable to take the law into [their] own hands”.

Concluding, he told the court it was “not without some hesitation” that he was imposing a two-year probation order.

He also handed the defendant a five-year Sexual Offences Prevention Order and ordered him to sign the sex offender register for five years.

Richmond was warned that if he breached the terms of his sentence, he would be back before the courts and facing a custodial sentence.

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