Donegal man jailed for sexual abuse on three girls


Derry Magistrates Court

A Donegal pensioner who admitted indecently assaulting three girls over 40 years ago has been jailed at Derry Crown Court.

John Callaghan (71) of Drung, Quigley’s Point, Co. Donegal, pleaded guilty to 14 charges of indecent assault between January 1972 and January 1982.

Derry Crown Court heard the first victim was eight-years-old when the abuse began.

The second victim was 11 while the third girl was six-years-old.

The 71-year-old abused each girl on more than one occasion in the homes of family members and friends.

Callaghan was interviewed by police in March 2015 and denied the allegations.

He claimed he did not have much interaction with the girls and ‘never interfered with anyone’.

Following his guilty pleas, the pensioner told a psychologist he ‘did not think he was doing any harm’ to the victims.

Judge Philip Babington said the offences were aggravated by the age of the victims at the time, the length of time over which the offending took place the breach of trust and the affect on the victims.

He said victim impact reports indicated 'the defendant's behaviour had a destructive affect on the whole family'.

Callaghan was sentenced to a total of 30 months with 18 months to be spent in custody and 12 months on probation.

He was also ordered to sign the sex offenders register for a period of ten years.