A VICTIM of a sex offender his hit out at the latest sentence handed to the North Belfast man who a magistrate this week branded a “public nuisance“. James Rankin was given a six-month suspended sentence and put on the sex offenders register for seven years after exposing himself to a woman as she walked through a park last July.
While Belfast Magistrates Court was told he had ‘propositioned’ another woman just one month earlier, it has also emerged he carried out a more serious attack previously. The victim, who was 20 at the time, was assaulted by Rankin who tried to drag her into undergrowth as she walked her dog at the Bone Hills in the Oldpark area of North Belfast. The young woman, who was left traumatised by the attack which happened in broad daylight, managed to free herself and run off following a struggle. Rankin (36), of Clareglen in Ballysillan, sped off in his car but his victim managed to memorise the registration and reported it to police, who traced him to him home within hours of the offence. At a hearing in December last year, the court was told when police arrived Rankin had changed and his clothing was in the washing machine in an attempt to destroy any evidence. He denied the offences but was found guilty of attempted sexual assault. Last month he was sentenced to four years in prison suspended for two years and placed on the sex offenders register for that offence.
However, his young victim was not told at the time that Rankin was facing a further charge of exposing himself and committing a sex act in front of another woman, who fled the scene and reported him to police. Rankin again denied the offence, claiming he hadn’t been in the park, but later entered a guilty plea just as a contest hearing was due to take place. Sentencing him on Wednesday for the second offence, District Judge Amanda Henderson told Rankin had he made physical contact with the woman he would have gone straight to prison. Speaking to The Irish News, the mother of Rankin’s first victim said her daughter feels let down that she was not informed about the latest case. ” My daughter went through the ordeal of giving evidence in court beause she thought it would stop this happening again to anyone else,” she said. “She only found out that he had attacked another woman when she read it in the paper. “The day we went to court he didn’t care less – he walked up and down past us smirking. “He’s more than a mmenace, he’s a danger to women everywhere and should have been jailed.”
With many thanks to : Allison Morris, Irish News.
- Loitering sex offenders are making Valley Brook residents uneasy (newsok.com)
- Flasher is told to pay £1,000 to his victim (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
- The sex offenders you don’t know (bangordailynews.com)
- Police arrest escaped sex offender (abc.net.au)
- Concern As Sex Offender Goes Missing From Address (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Sex offender compliance checks find few astray (muskogeephoenix.com)
- One of two Qld sex offenders recaptured (news.theage.com.au)
- Police Hunt Dangerous On-the-run Sex Offender (belfastdaily.co.uk)