Convicted paedophile (28) was in presence of 14-year-old girl at Bangor Train Station

Convicted paedophile (28) was in presence of 14-year-old girl at Bangor Train Station

A PAEDOPHILE (28) previously convicted for kissing a 14-year-old girl during a train trip has now breached a Sexual Offences Prevention Order by being in the presence of a girl (14) at Bangor Train Station.

Daniel McCormick, of University Street in Belfast, committed the latest offence on October 7 this year.

Under the terms of a Prevention Order imposed in 2018, McCormick was banned from having any contact with children under the age of 16 unless with the approval of social services or his designated risk manager.

Newtownards Magistrates Court heard that CCTV showed McCormick had met two girls - one aged 17 and one aged 14 - at Bangor.

A defence barrister said the court would be "concerned about this breach and the nature of the offence".

He said McCormick lives a "solitary and lonely existence" with "ongoing issues of rejection" and has a "very limited, almost non-existence, friends circle".

The lawyer said McCormick "meets people he deems 'friends' online. This is exactly what happened in this case. This girl that he had met was 17 years of age. He had spoken with her, he had spoken with her mother. He was satisfied that she was 17 years of age.

"They agreed to meet at the Train Station. She had brought with her a 14-year-old friend. At that point in time it is very clear the defendant should have taken himself out of that situation, he should have walked away, because he knows he is not allowed to be in contact with people at that age".

The barrister said at the time McCormick was the "lowest risk" Category One offender but is now Category Two because the authorities "have concerns about this gentleman".

The lawyer said he was not detracting from the seriousness of the matter but said there was "no indication that he had sought out this 14 year old".

The barrister said McCormick was legally allowed to meet the 17-year-old girl and accepted he had "sought out" her company.

The lawyer said there had been ongoing media coverage of McCormick's offending and the defendant had been subjected to "various levels of intimidation throughout the Province".

The barrister said there was the potential for the Sexual Prevention Order terms to be increased in ensuring that McCormick "doesn't engage in any type of unsavoury behaviour with minors again".

District Judge Mark Hamill said there is a "pattern developing here" regarding McCormick's offending and gave him a two year conditional discharge.

The court heard that in September this year McCormick was fined £100 in Ballymena for failing to complete an annual declaration advising the authorities of details including his address.

In January 2018 at Coleraine Magistrates Court a judge had told McCormick - then with an address listed as Glenrosa Link in Belfast - parents would be sickened by the way he groomed a 14-year-old girl.

At that court McCormick was put on probation for two years; was also placed on the Sex Offenders' Register for seven years and made the subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) for five years.

McCormick had been found guilty of two charges of meeting a child following "sexual grooming" and intentionally engaging in "sexual touching" in December 2015.

The specifics of the grooming charge were that he communicated with the child on one or more occasions and met her, not reasonably believing her to be over 16.

A prosecutor had told the court in Coleraine that in December 2015 police received a report that a girl who was 14 at the time told her guardian that she was involved in a "sexual relationship".

The guardian told police she had been checking the girl's phone and noticed "inappropriate texts" and McCormick was on a contact list.

The teenager admitted "kissing on the train" with the defendant near Coleraine.

McCormick was arrested and phones and other items were seized. CCTV was also taken from a train platform and from the interior of a train which showed the defendant and the girl getting on the train and sitting together.

During a police interview, McCormick claimed he had gone to meet a friend and "by chance" met the girl and "gave her a hug" and he said he had "put his hand on her leg".

He also told officers that after getting off the train he "kissed her, on the platform, for about five minutes", claiming the kissing had been "consensual".

The Coleraine Court judge had told McCormick: "I think anyone hearing the facts of this case and anyone who is a parent or a grandparent, the very idea of you being 24, on a train, kissing a young girl of 14, would immediately lend anyone to conclude that I should send you to prison."

The judge added that the defendant had accepted his guilt and he had to weigh up what was the best way to ensure he does not reoffend.

The judge did not believe a two or three month prison term would achieve that and instead placed him on Probation for two years with conditions and put him on the Sex Offenders' Register.

Under the terms of the SOPO which was imposed on him, McCormick was banned from having any contact with children under the age of 16 unless with the approval of social services or his designated risk manager.

There were also conditions regarding having any internet-linked device and a ban on using the internet to attempt to contact children and safeguards regarding working with young people.

  • Main picture: Daniel McCormick pictured leaving a previous court in Coleraine.