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Thug with 127 previous convictions jailed for sexually assaulting girl (9) and burglary

Co Antrim man David Connors (32) was jailed for two years

John CassidyBelfast Telegraph

A west Belfast man has been jailed for two years for sexually assaulting a young girl, burglary and aggravated vehicle taking.

David Connors (32), of Old Forge, Dunmurry, appeared at Belfast Crown Court via video-link from Maghaberry Prison to be sentenced for three separate matters.

It was heard that father-of-three Connors was convicted unanimously by a jury in September of two counts of sexually assaulting a nine-year-old girl.

Prosecution lawyer Jonathan Connolly said the victim's mum had held a house party at her Belfast home in October 2018.

The girl said she was in bed with another female along with Connors. At one point she got out of the bed and Connors moved closer to her and "grabbed her bottom''. He also rubbed his hand across her stomach.

In a second case, the prosecution said police attended Glenville Park, Newtownabbey, Co Antrim, on September 28, 2021, following reports members of the public had detained two people for burglary.

Police were told the pair were held after they tried to enter a house in Glenville Park by smashing a rear window. The shed at a neighbouring property had also been entered and garden shears and metal bars were stolen. Work tools were taken from another property in the street.

Mr Connolly said when Connors was searched in police custody, officers found 200 "blue pills'' concealed inside a Kinder egg and in a money bag in his clothing.

Connors admitted possessing the pills but claimed they were for his personal use. He subsequently pleaded guilty to offences of burglary, burglary with intent to steal and possessing a class C drug.

In a third case, Connors pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle taking, driving dangerously and causing damage, driving while disqualified, driving with no insurance and failing to provide a drug-drive specimen.

Mr Connolly said that on November 6, 2021, a BMW car was stolen during a creeper burglary in Dunmurry at 2.30am.

At 8am, the vehicle was spotted in the Glenarm/Larne area and police deployed a stinger device in a bid to stop it.

Police pursued the car which turned into Carnfunnock Country Park. It tried to do a U-turn in the car park but officers surrounded the vehicle.

The BMW escaped the police encirclement only for it to crash into a hedgerow. One officer smashed the windscreen with his baton and another colleague smashed the driver and passenger windows.

It was heard that Connors then tried to climb into the back seat but was arrested. A stolen Samsung phone was also found in the car's footwell.

Judge Geoffrey Miller KC said Connors had 127 previous convictions since the age of 13 when he was convicted of car theft.

His record included 54 road traffic offences, 20 burglaries, one aggravated burglary and other offences of dishonesty, assault and public disorder.

The judge said Connors still denied the sexual assault offences but a jury had found the victim's testimony as "believable''.

He imposed consecutive prison sentences of nine months for sexual assault, six months for burglary and nine months for the driving offences. Connors will also be under supervised licence for two years on his release from prison.

As well as being banned from driving for five years, he was put on the sex offenders’ register for a decade years and given a five-year sexual offences prevention order.

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