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'sickening' Former soldier dubbed 'Beast of Ballysillan' jailed for sexually abusing girl (12)

Thomas Lowry abused his victim while on leave from Afghanistan

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Thomas Lowry

Thomas Lowry

Thomas Lowry

A pedophile known as the ‘Beast of Ballysillian' has been jailed for four years at Belfast’s Crown court.

Former RIR soldier Thomas Lowry abused his victim when he was on home leave from fighting in Afghanistan during Christmas 2011 holidays and in the summer of 2013.

She was just 12 years old when he attacked her sexually.

Before his trial Lowry was released on bail at an address in Shrewsbury in England, his horrified family and friends not wanting anything to do with the sick monster who destroyed his victims childhood.

It was revealed last month that when his conviction became known at least one other young Northern Irish woman came forward to say she was abused by the predator as a child.

Writing on social media she told of how she wrongly believed Lowry to be a friend.

“It all changed when I finally came forward at 15 about him sexually abusing me when I was around five years old. I came forward so this wouldn't have to happen to anyone else, but the prosecution service said there wasn't enough evidence to go forward with the case… I am so sorry this happened to this girl and I hope she gets the justice she deserves.” she posted.

This came at the time as the family of Lowry’s Belfast victim also took to social media to warn parents in Shewsbury to protect their children from the beast.

“Please, if you know anyone in Shrewsbury or anyone who works for Network Rail please share this so he can't get the chance of doing it again. He is now on the sex offenders' register and is now a convicted child sex offender.” the pleading post read.

Lowry pleaded guilty to three charges in total — sexual assault of a child under 13, inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity, and inciting a child aged between 13 and 16 into sexual activity.

Detectives from the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Public Protection Branch have welcomed the sentence handed down to a 32-year-old man.

Thomas Lowry was sentenced to 4 years. He will serve 2 years in custody and 2 years on licence, and has been placed on the Sex Offenders Register for life.

Detective Constable Greene said: "The offences committed by Lowry were sickening and despicable. While today’s sentencing can never undo his actions, I hope it will provide some degree of comfort to the victim and her family.

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“The traumatic ordeal took place some years ago, and I would like to acknowledge the tremendous courage of the young female victim in coming forward. I hope her strength will encourage others who may have suffered any form of sexual abuse to speak up.

“Please be assured that we have specially trained officers who will treat victims with sensitivity and respect – at every stage of the process. Contact us on 101, or in an emergency call 999.”

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