Shankill man used place at church to sexually assault teen woman

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A church usher who sexually assaulted a teenage woman on two separate events after hugging her at a Sunday service has been made the topic of a three-year probation order.

Paul Kyle (54) used his place as a part of the welcoming staff on the New Life Metropolis Church within the Shankill space of Belfast to inappropriately contact the 15-year-old.

Belfast Crown Court docket heard Kyle sexually assaulted her in June 2017 and once more in November of the identical 12 months. He has since been requested to keep away from the church.

Decide Patricia Smyth mentioned she felt the general public could be higher protected by inserting Kyle on probation for 3 years and really helpful that he attend a sexual offending programme to handle his “distorted pondering”.

Decide Smyth heard that {the teenager} went to the police together with her dad and mom on November 22, 2017 to report that she had been sexually assaulted within the June and once more on November 19.

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The schoolgirl’s dad and mom informed police that considerations about Kyle’s behaviour have been first raised with the church’s pastor in June final 12 months, after they mentioned Kyle had made “inappropriate bodily contact” with {the teenager}.

The woman mentioned that after giving her a hug, Kyle had touched her breast. The matter was reported to the pastor who in flip spoke to Kyle and warned him to not contact the schoolgirl once more.

5 months after the incident, the woman was once more abused in the identical manner. She informed her dad and mom that she was hugged by Kyle and as he was releasing himself from the hug, he felt her breast then put his hand between her legs.

All three assaults concerned sexual touching over garments.

It additionally emerged that following the second incident in November, hours later Kyle tried to contact {the teenager} by way of Fb messenger, however she didn’t reply.

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When Kyle, from the Highfield space of the town, was interviewed by police, he mentioned that whereas he knew the complainant, he was not pleasant together with her. He additionally admitted hugging her on the church service and mentioned it was “only a hug and nothing extra”.

Whereas Kyle continued to disclaim the offences initially, he later pleaded responsible to the fees, which Crown lawyer Kate McKay mentioned was a sign he “now accepts what she mentioned about every of those incidents”.

The prosecutor mentioned Kyle’s actions impacted on the woman’s schooling, including that whereas the offences themselves have been on the “decrease finish of the size”, they nonetheless had a adverse have an effect on on her.

Ms McKay additionally identified that regardless of being spoken to by the church pastor following the June 2017 incident, Kyle “did the identical factor once more” 5 months later.

Defence barrister Ciaran Harvey informed Decide Smyth that Kyle accepts what he did and “absolutely apologises and recognises the harm and ache this has brought about her”.

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Mr Harvey mentioned that because the incidents – which he mentioned occurred when Kyle was experiencing “difficulties in his life” – his consumer has turned to alcohol and is now consuming a litre of spirits day-after-day.

The defence barrister additionally revealed Kyle has a really low IQ, suffers from stress and has skilled “anxiousness concerning the prospect of a jail sentence”.

Sparing Kyle jail, Decide Smyth famous his low IQ – which locations him within the backside 2% of the inhabitants – that she mentioned could clarify “to some extent” his offending.

Addressing Kyle, the decide mentioned that whereas she famous he had misplaced the social community that the church offered to him as he had been informed to “keep away”, he used his place throughout the church to the touch the schoolgirl.

She additionally spoke of the affect his behaviour has had on the woman, significantly with regard to her education, and her want to attend church.

Along with the three-year probation order, Kyle was additionally positioned on the Intercourse Offenders Register for 5 years.

Belfast Telegraph

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