Belfast man sentenced to six years for sexual offences

Belfast man sentenced to six years for sexual offences

A MAN from the Belfast area has today been sentenced to six years for a series of sexual offences.

The 38-year-old was sentenced at Coleraine Crown Court for attempted rape, assault and attempt to choke with intent to commit an indictable offence.

The man, who cannot be named in order to protect the victim's identity, will serve three years in prison and three years on license.

"I would like to commend the victim in this case for her bravery in coming forward and working closely with us on this investigation to bring her abuser before the courts today to answer for his crimes," said Detective Sergeant Paul Grant.

The man has also been placed on the Sex Offenders Register indefinitely and will be subjected to a Sexual Offences Prevention Order for 10 years.

While DS Grant acknowledged it can be difficult for people to report abuse committed by someone they know, he encouraged other victims to contact police.

"We recognise that it is incredibly difficult for victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault to come forward," he said.

"When the abuse is happening at home, by someone who claims to love you, it creates a barrier to reporting.

"We want to make it clear today that without consent, it is rape and domestic abuse and sexual assault will not be tolerated.

"We don't want victims who are afraid in their own home to suffer in silence. Please report to us, we can help you."

A 24-hour Domestic and Sexual Abuse Helpline is available to anyone who has concerns about domestic or sexual abuse, either now or in the past.

The number is 0808 802 1414.

In an emergency, people should contact 101 or 999.