Bus driver who abused boys after plying them with drinks is jailed

A former Belfast bus driver who plied young boys with alcohol before sexually abusing them in a caravan has been jailed for almost 7 years.

Terence Fitzpatrick who was a boy scout leader in Co Donegal was found guilty of six counts of sexual assault and one count of indecent assault on two boys between 1989 and 1996.

Letterkenny Circuit Court was told that despite being found guilty, the 68-year-old defendant still maintained his innocence. One of his two victims were in court as the sentence was passed by Judge John Aylmer.

The court was told that the boys would travel from Belfast to Donegal, where a relative of Fitzpatrick owned a caravan. On occasions the children, who were aged between nine and 14, were given small alcohol shandies to drink.

However, when an older relative of the boys would go to bed and leave them alone with Fitzpatrick, he would ply them with drink and then sexually abuse them. The defendant also took one of the boys for a drive and sat him on his knee, allowing him to steer the car but fondling him on the journey.

He asked the boy to perform a sex act but was told no. On another occasion, Fitzpatrick went to bed with one of the boys and performed a sex act. Despite the abuse, the victims said they never discussed the assaults because they were too embarrassed.

They also told how Fitzpatrick told them not to discuss the assaults and said that he had a brother who was very dangerous. He also showed them a shotgun. When arrested in 2015, the defendant denied knowing either of the boys.

When one of the boys told his mother in later life that he had been abused by Fitzpatrick, she became suicidal. The court was told that the defendant, who was accompanied to court by his sister, still maintained his innocence and had no previous convictions.

Judge John Aylmer sentenced Fitzpatrick on three separate charges of sexual assault and jailed him for six and a half years, three and a half years and three years.

All sentences will run concurrently, meaning he will serve six and a half years in total.