VICTIM: She shows total lack of remorse

THE VICTIM of Bridge Meehan last night expressed her disappointment at the sentence handed to the self-confessed child abuser – and her continuing refusal to apologise. Mary Meehan said her stepmother had shown a “total lack of remorse” for the harm inflicted on her, at a time when she was still grieving the loss of her mother from cancer.

Mary Meehan in tears outside Belfast Crown Court yesterday after her stepmother Bridge Meehan was sentenced for cruelty and assault against her when she was 10 years old.

The former Sinn Fein councillor, who once revelled in the notoriety gained from her marriage to the late Martin Meehan, barked “no comment” at reporters who asked yesterday if she would appoligise. She pushed the media out of her path and muttered expletives as she left the Laganside court complex. Neighbours in Addoyne who spoke to The Irish News back in 2010, when details of the case first came to light, described Mary prior to her mother’s death as happy, well cared-for child who could be seen with biws in her hair playing in the front garden of the family’s Northwick Drive home. However, after her mother’s death and imprisonment of her father, his new girlfriend Briege McLaughlin moved into the family home and took an immediate dislike to the little girl who so closely resembled her mother.

She had walked out on her husband to take up with newly widowed Martin Meehan and this resulted in her being shunned by many in the close-knit community of Ardoyne. Resentful of the affection in which the woman she replaced was held, she appeared to take her anger out on her namesake daughter. Neighbours reported hearing nightly screams from the little girl. Mary developed a stammer and was rarely seen out of her bedroom. On occasions she did attend Holy Cross Girls School she was dirty and unkempt. Social services received calls after she was seen on three seperate occasions with black eyes. Mary Meehan said despite her guilty plea, her late father’s widow has shown no remorse for her actions. “I only ever wanted Briege to admit what she had done to me after all these years,” she said. “She may have pleaded guilty but even then it seemed to be something she was doing to save herself from prison rather than to clear her conscience. “I was disappointed at the leniency of the sentence but more upset that she has never apoligised or even a shred of remorse. “I can only thank my family, friends and children who have supported me throughout this difficult process. “I just want to put it behind me now and move on with the rest of my life.”

With many thanks to : Allison Morris, The Irish News.


‘[The victim] had 20 bruises on the head, six stitches under her left eye, cut on the right cheek, severe bruising on her inner thighs, gashes and scarabs on her back, bruises on her trunk, a burn on one foot and cuts on the other – Medical report.

FORMER Shame Fein councillor Bridge Meehan is to be sentenced today for abusing a stepdaughter left in her care more than three decades ago. Last month the former New town abbey councillor pleaded guilty to child cruelty and neglect over a 15-month period from 1979 to 1980 when Mary Meehan was 10 years old.

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Briege Meehan, a widow of IRA commander Martin Meehan, also admitted two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm against the child left in her care while her father was in prison. In the first she hit the girl with a bottle in a bag, causing an injury to her head. The second attack involved either a shoe or a a broom. It caused an injury to the child’s eye that required stitches. Sexual assault charges were not proceeded with but were left on the books. Reports from social services and a nurse at Holy Cross Girls School showed that concern for the child’s welfare had been raised on several occasions.

Anonymous phone calls were also made to social services by neighbours who reported seeing the child with bruises and black eyes. Malnourished to the point of collapse, battered, bruised and locked in an attic room, Mary Meehan was eventually rescued from the house in Northwick Drive in Ardoyne by the parish priest. On October 16 1980, the day she was placed into care, a medical report stated : “When examined at Lissue she had 20 bruises on the head, six stitches under her left eye, cut on the right cheek, severe bruising on her inner thighs, gashes and scarabs on her back, bruises on her trunk, a burn on one foot and cuts on the other.” Bridge Meehan has been on bail throughout the case. Judge Gordon Kerr QC asked for pre sentencing reports and a victim impact statement to be prepared before he sentences the 65-year-old, whose address was given as Elmfield Street in North Belfast. Judge Kerr QC, adjourned the case yesterday morning to read over the new reports and put back sentencing until Friday morning 5th July.

With many thanks to : Allison Morris, The Irish News.


A DERRY man charged in connection with the discovery of mortars in March R has been approached in prison by MI5 to turn ssupergrass, a court has been told. A solicitor for Gary McDaid, of Glenowen Park, told a remand hearing on Thursday at Derry Magistrates Court that while in Maghaberry Prison his client had been asked on six occasions to plead guilty and become an assisting offender.


The approaches were made in the absence of McDaid’s solicitors, he said.Representations had been made to the Prison Service, the Chief Consable, the Secretary of State and the High Court in regards to the approaches. Deputy district judge John Meehan said one possible remedy could be the granting of bail to McDaid. He adjourned the case for one week for the prosecution to show cause why McDaid should not get bail. The Northern Ireland Office confirmed in a letter that the PSNI had visited McDaid in Maghaberry. McDaid and co-accused, Seamus McLaughlin (35) of Eastway Gardens, Creggan, Derry, are both charged with conspiring to cause expolsions and pocessing improvised mortars on March 3. The charges relate to the discovery of four mortars in a van on the Letterkenny Road in the city.


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.

James Rankin leaves Laganside Courthouse in Belfast where he was appearing in relation to exposing himself in pubic.
James Rankin leaves Laganside Courthouse in Belfast where he was appearing in relation to exposing himself in pubic.

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 Newsthe 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.


AN ENGINEER who reactivated firearms for dissident republicans claimed they told him the guns were for defensive ppurposes in interface areas. Bryan Christopher McManus (56), of Aileen Terrace in Newry, Co Down, pleaded guilty to possession of eight handguns, one of which was disguised as a walking cane‘s removeable handle.


He admitted having a rifle, component parts of weapons, seven magazines and ammuntion including armour-piercing and ‘ drum drum ‘ bullets – designed to expand on impact. McManus PPleaded guilty to conspiring with another person, not before the court, to convert imitation guns into firearms between September 1 2007 and September 24 2010. The cache was found in outbuildings behind his house in September 2010. His lawyer said police aale rated McManus to threats to his life and after the last one in 2007 he contacted ” certain elements ” for pprotection. He said McManus reactivated a gun given to him by a man reffered to as Mr X who then asked him to do further similar work. McManus became indebted to those who give him the weapon and ” things spiralled out of control “, he said. McManus told police he believed Mr X and his associates  were Real IRA members. He said they told him the guns would help to defendiI interfaces. judge David McFarland adjourned the case until tommorow. He saida custodial sentence was inevitable.

With many thanks to : Irish News.

Babysitter admits sexually assaulting 5-year-old girl and streaming live video of it online

Guilty: Jennifer Mahoney, 33, of Manalapan, New Jersey pleaded guilty Wednesday to sexual exploitation of a child she was allegedly babysitting 

Guilty: Jennifer Mahoney, 33, of Manalapan, New Jersey pleaded guilty

A babysitter faces 30 years behind bars after she admitted broadcasting a sex attack on a 5-year-old girl to other alleged predators using the live video-chat programme Skype on her iPhone.

Jennifer Mahoney, 33, of Manalapan, New Jersey, pleaded guilty in US District Court Wednesday to the sexual exploitation of a child that took place on at least two separate occasions in her home.

‘She cannot believe what’s happening to her. She’s upset with herself,’ Mahoney’s defense lawyer, Herbert Ellis, said of his client to after her court hearing that presented her in a red prison jumpsuit and chain around her waist

‘She’s numb,’ he said of the woman whose teeth were described as chattering and who wiped tears from her face.

She faces between 15 and 30 years in prison when she is sentenced Aug. 22, and will have to pay restitution to the victim. She had been charged with two counts of sexual exploitation of a child.

As part of the plea, Mahoney agreed 30 years is the appropriate sentence, although the judge will have the final say. She would be under supervised release for anywhere between five years and life after her sentence is completed. She also agreed not to appeal.

Mahoney has been in custody since December after prosecutors said three pornographic videos showing assaults on the child were found on the computer of Robert Ramos Jr. of Austin, Texas.

Mahoney admitted to sending the video to Ramos, whom she believed lived in Arizona, and one other individual.

Ramos was charged with possession of child pornography and sexual exploitation of minors.

Abuse: Mahoney admitted to filming the 5-year-old girl in three pornographic videos that were found on a man's computer in Texas

Abuse: Mahoney admitted to filming the 5-year-old girl in three pornographic videos that were found on a man’s computer in Texas

Prosecutors in Texas say he set up seven fake Facebook accounts to solicit teenage girls to send him nude photos and videos of themselves engaged in sex acts.

Following an interview and search of her home last December, Mahoney admitted to FBI agents of sexually assaulting the girl and streaming the assault live over a video chat service on the Internet, ‘on two occasions in August or September 2011,’ according to the criminal complaint.


In one video obtained by authorities, Mahoney can be seen bathing the girl in a tub, instructing the girl to bend over before inappropriately touching her.

‘The girl says “like a mermaid?” The adult responds “like a mermaid sweetheart,” according to the criminal complaint filed in January.

She also admitted to abusing the girl on another occasion, recording the abuse on an iPhone camera and emailing the video to at least one other person.

Finally, Mahoney admitted to viewing other videos of child sexual abuse streamed to her using a video chat service.

‘This horrible crime is a stark example of how harmful child pornography is, and how its young victims bear not just the physical and emotional scars of violent sexual assault, but lifelong trauma as others repeatedly watch,’ U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said in a statement.

‘Those like Mahoney, who create and feed the market, perpetuate unimaginable suffering for the children they abuse.’

WITH MANY THANKS TO :  Daily Mail Reporter.

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