Man jailed in Derry for sexual assaults on children

A man has been sentenced to 40 months for sexual assault charges against two female children.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 20th January 2022, 3:39 pm
Alan Bates. (File picture)
Alan Bates. (File picture)

Alan John Bates (49) of no fixed abode admitted 15 counts of sexual assault and sexual assault on a child that occurred between August 1, 2015 and February 16, 2021 when he appeared at Derry Crown Court today.

The court was told that the two victims would have had occasions to be in Bate’s home and the abuse took place there.

One of the victims was 12-years-old when the abuse started and it continued until she was aged 17.

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The other victim was aged 14 when she was abused.

Judge Philip Babington outlined to the court some of the details of the abuse which involved mainly touching under the girls’ clothing.

He said in the case of the victim who suffered abuse over a long period she had said it occurred almost every time she stayed in Bates’ home.

The other victim was abused over a two day period in January 2020.

The court heard the abuse came to light when the second victim told her family, who then contacted the family of the first victim as they knew she had been in the house.

When Bates was first interviewed about the allegations he said ‘yes’ when asked had he touched one of the girls.

He said he did not know why he had done it and denied trying to get the victims to touch him.

Judge Babington said Bates would get credit for his early plea of guilty as this spared the victims having to come to court and allowed them ‘to move on with their lives.’

The judge said victim impact statements from both female revealed the abuse had had an effect on them but said he hoped they would be ‘able to move on’.

Bates was assessed as being of a ‘medium likelihood of re-offending’.

Judge Babington said the case involved a breach of trust and was aggravated by the age of the victims and the length of time over which it occurred.

He said the courts had a duty ‘to protect vulnerable people’ and this offending had been for Bates’ gratification.

He imposed a sentence of two years in prison for the offending against the first girl and 16 months for the offences against the second chid.

The sentences were to run consecutive, making a total sentence of 40 months, with half to be spent in custody.

Bates has also been ordered to sign the Sex Offender’s Register for an indefinite period, and is subject to a Sexual Offences Prevention Order for a period of five years.