A MAN from Co. Down has been jailed in England for intimidating a witness involved in a court case where a paedophile was convicted for child sex offences.
Conrad Simmons, 61, of Commons Road, Downpatrick, pleaded guilty at Liverpool Crown Court last month to two counts of witness intimidation.
Simmons had phoned the family of the victim and also turned up at their home in Merseyside.
The judge described Simmons’ intimidation as ‘sophisticated and planned over a period of many months’.
On Monday, he was sentenced to three years in jail and a lifetime restraining order not to contact the victim and her family.
“This has been very traumatic for the victim and her family,” said Detective Constable Jennifer Davies from Merseyside Police.
“They have been extremely brave throughout the judicial process, and especially having to go through this twice which has taken a huge toll on their lives.”
Simmons was convicted of attempting to intimidate a witness connected to the case of jailed paedophile David Joseph McMullan.
In November 2022, McMullan pleaded guilty on the first day of a scheduled trial at Liverpool Crown Court to four counts of rape of a child under 16.
The 33-year-old, formerly of Demesne View in Downpatrick, was sentenced to 19 years in prison with an additional five years on licence.
Following his sentencing, a spokesperson for the Crown Prosecution Service described McMullan as ‘a predatory paedophile’.
Last month, the court heard that Simmons had made a number of unsolicited phone calls to the family of McMullan’s victim during the latter’s court case in July and August 2022.
Simmons had also visited the victim’s family home in Wirral in September 2022, just before McMullan’s trial was about to commence.
The family reported it to police, who traced the mobile number to Simmons as he had visited McMullan in prison on previous occasions.
In a statement read to the court, the mother of the victim said the knowledge that Simmons and McMullan knew where they lived had left her ‘constantly in fear’.
“This case has had immeasurable impact on the whole family,” she said.
“We were prepared for the original case to be concluded in 2022 and as a mum, my priority was to make sure my children and I felt safe in the knowledge that David McMullan was sentenced for his vile crimes against my daughter, and we had the time and help to recover and heal from the terrible ordeal.
“The two defendants have ensured this has not been possible and know our address and went to such lengths to try and intimidate us which weighs heavy on my mind. I am constantly in fear.”
She added: “I have lived in fear of the defendants committing further offences.
“It has been hard, and attending the various appointments for my children as a result of what has happened has put a lot of strain on me.
“I am always anxious that the defendants are following us to commit further offences against us.
“They committed their offences believing themselves to be above the law, contacting me on my mobile and visiting our home to intimidate us.”