OAP killed by two women who stole his pension was a convicted paedophile

Rhona Gracey (36) and Sharon Harland (47), have admitted Daniel Guyler’s manslaughter and will be sentenced next month

Daniel Guyler

Termon Street, where Daniel Guyler was killed

Ciaran O'NeillSunday World

A pensioner killed by two women in Derry four years ago was a convicted sex offender, the Sunday World can reveal.

Daniel Guyler (75) died 10 months after he suffered a serious head injury when he was robbed in the Termon Street area of the city in July 2018.

He never regained consciousness and passed away in Altnagelvin Hospital in May 2019.

Two women, Rhona Gracey (36) and Sharon Harland (47), have admitted his manslaughter and will be sentenced next month.

The Sunday World can today reveal details of Guyler’s perverted past, which is not connected in any way to his death.

He was found guilty in 2017 of eight charges of indecent assault on three female children.

A court heard that the victims were aged between seven and 11-years-old at the time of the abuse.

The dates of the abuse are not known but the attacks are believed to have taken place a significant number of years ago.

Guyler, who was better known as Don and was originally from the Limavady area of Co Derry, denied the offences but was found guilty after a lengthy trial.

He was sentenced to two years and six months in prison and told he must register as a sex offender for a period of 10 years.

Guyler is understood to have been released from prison a short time before the 2018 attack and was living at a hostel in the Waterside area of Derry.

Following the pensioner’s death, police launched a murder investigation.

Gracey and Harland were subsequently arrested and charged with his murder.

They both denied the charge.

Termon Street, where Daniel Guyler was killed

However, during a hearing at Belfast Crown Court last October, the two women admitted a charge of manslaughter in connection with Guyler’s death.

Gracey and Harland appeared before Laganside court in Belfast on Friday to be sentenced.

A prosecution barrister told the court that Guyler was assaulted at Termon Street on July 23, 2018 and his wallet, which contained £400, was stolen.

It is understood he had collected his pension earlier that day.

The victim suffered a serious head injury during the attack, from which he never regained consciousness and he died in hospital ten months later on May 1, 2019.

The barrister said that although no one saw Guyler being robbed, according to witnesses at the scene, Harland and Gracey had been with him shortly before the incident and they were also present when Guyler was found by members of the public.

The court was told Gracey tried to “dissuade” local residents from calling an ambulance.

The two women and Guyler were living in a nearby Simon Community hostel at the time and were known to drink in the area where Guyler was attacked.

Shortly afterwards, the court was told, Harland and Gracey were seen acting suspiciously and “appeared to be panicking and running around frantically”.

“They were seen disposing of a wallet. There was no cash in it at that time but the wallet was later identified as Mr Guyler’s,” said the barrister.

“They had money after the incident that they didn’t have before.”

The barrister said Harland made comments to witnesses at the scene which could be interpreted as a “confession”.

“She told one witness that Mr Guyler had sexually assaulted one of them and when asked if she had assaulted Mr Guyler, she smirked and said he was a paedophile.

“When confronted by a further witness as to what she had done, Harland said ‘are you going to tout?’”.

As well as witness evidence there was also forensic evidence, the barrister added.

Traces of Guyler’s blood was found on Gracey’s slipper, sock, T-shirt and jeans and on Harland’s shoe and trousers.

During interview, the two defendants either made no comment or said they could not remember the incident.

However, at one stage during interview, the barrister said, Harland remarked “if someone was a paedophile then they deserved what they got”.

The court was told that Harland has 50 previous convictions, including 14 for assault, while Gracey has 55 previous convictions which included 12 assaults and seven serious assaults.

Gracey’s barrister said there was no suggestion of premeditation in the attack on Guyler and added a “very substantial” amount of alcohol and prescription drugs had been taken by his client on the night of the attack.

The barrister said Gracey, a mother of two teenage children, had shown “genuine remorse” for her part in the pensioner’s death.

Harland’s barrister said her life had been “blighted by substance abuse” after a “wholly dysfunctional and unstable” childhood.

He said his client, who has six children, had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and described her as a “very significantly ill person”.

Both defence representatives asked the judge to give the two women credit for their early pleas to the manslaughter charge.

The judge said he would consider all the submissions and sentence the two women on April 3.

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