EXCLUSIVE by Steven Moore
Fury as convicted perv who escaped jail is released despite guilty plea
A CONVICTED Paedophile who escaped jail because it was claimed he had effectively been ‘cured’ has walked free again-despite pleading guilty to fresh sex charges.
Mark Andrew Coney (36), of Castletown Road, Dungannon, sexually assaulted an adult female as she sat in her car with her friend. He also admitted making contact with a young boy in England, sending him graphic sex images and texts, and was only caught when the child’s mother took over the conversation. Relatives of one of his victims stormed out from Dungannon Magistrates Court in disgust as a judge handed him an extended Probation Order rather than send him to jail. Coney further admitted breaching his Sexual Offences Prevention Order on May 21st, 2018. But there’s great anger about how the court has dealt with Coney this time after he escaped jail for previous offending following a psychologist’s report. In January 2018, Coney walked free from Dungannon Crown Court after he admitted five charges relating to sexual offences with a child, some of which occurred, incredibly, while his own toddler was in a baby seat in the rear of his car. There were three victims in the case-two girls and a boy-all of whom the court was told were “very young children”.
The offences occurred between July 1st and 4th 2016 in a number of locations in the Dungannon area including a shopping complex and a park. The first offence involved Coney getting out of his car close to the Oakes Shopping Centre, Dungannon, to expose himself to a child, and then appear to fondle himself. On the next occasion two children-one aged 11 and the other eight, were playing in a park when Coney pulled up in his car. He proceeded to show the youngsters pictures of male genitalia on his phone and asked them if they knew what they were. During that hearing a defence barrister explained: “A wire came lose during a period in my client’s life and he understands the unbelievable strain these offences have placed on his family, his victims, their families.” Referring to a psychologist report, the defence said Money’s offending had come about through a combination of boredom, sexual pre-occupation with internet chat rooms and outdoor sexual themes, complicated by an obsessive predisposition, alcohol, high-energy drinks and inappropriate internet use. The defence-obtained report stated: “This particular compulsion has now passed… a custodial sentence would not be beneficial.”
Although assessed as a medium likelihood of reoffending, Coney was not believed to present a serious risk of significant harm, and that “this behaviour was totally out of character”. The court was persuaded to place Coney under a two-year probation order. But within weeks Coney was back committing sex offences and placing a number of fresh victims at great harm. This week a court was told how in July the same year two females were seated in a car when Coney approached, making “highly sexualised and uninvited comments”. Licking his lips, he said to one victim: “You’d be young. What age are you? Why does there have to be a door between us.” Coney commented on the woman’s breasts, then reached through the lowered window and put his hand down the back of her top, before running his hand around her neck and feeling her hair.
Laughing, he moved to the other side of the car and tried the handle several times to gain access. In an attempt to prevent them driving away, he placed his bicycle under the car, which caused damage. Throughout, Coney made “very sexually threatening comments to both women”, who were left anxious and traumatised. It then emerged he’d been texting a young boy in England and despite discovering his age he continued to send filthy texts and images-until the boy’s mother found out and went to the police. Judge Brian Sherrard QC said: “These were two different sets of very serious offending and the normal course would be immediate imprisonment.” However, it was felt the four months served while on remand accounted for the appropriate sentence for the incident on the two women. Opting for a three-year Probation Order, the judge said: “I am compelling you to undertake a further programme of work.” At this point, relatives of the sexually assaulted female stormed from the court in anger.
With many thanks to the: Sunday World and Steven Moore for the EXCLUSIVE original story –Steven.email@example.com
Follow these links to find out more: https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/dungannon-sex-assault-accused-coney-granted-bail-ahead-of-trial-38093480.html