SCOUT LEADER GUILTY
Tuesday, 22 October 2013
A FORMER scout leader from Bessbrook who used his role to carry out systematic sex abuse against young boys is now behind bars and awaiting sentencing on a catalogue of charges.
Colin Finnegan forced his four victims to go through the ordeal of reliving his sickening attacks on them as they gave evidence at two aborted trials and a third one, which last week saw the paedophile finally convicted of 59 charges across the full spectrum of sex abuse, including buggery, indecent assault and gross indecency, spanning from 1982 - 1997.
Finnegan's vile abuse started when his first victim, a young cub-scout, and he were on a camping trip with the Scouts at Gosford Forest Park.
The then teenaged Finnegan entered his eight-year-old victim's tent on the first night of the trip and asked him inappropriate questions about an intimate male body part before proceeding to fondle the same body part on another boy who was asleep.
It was the start of sex abuse against his first victim that lasted until the youngster was 16, often taking place in Bessbrook Scout Hall. This first victim later suffered a nervous breakdown as a direct result of the trauma he'd experienced at the hands of his abuser.
For 15 years after his first sex attack, Finnegan, 44, sustained a campaign that saw three other boys subjected to similar abuse at Bessbrook Scout Hall, in various vehicles, in fields, at Camlough Lake and in derelict buildings. On Thursday, after six hours of deliberation over two days, a jury at Laganside Court delivered unanimous guilty verdicts on 54 counts of sex offences, while five further counts came back as guilty by a majority verdict of 11 to one.
Finnegan, who was born and raised in Bessbrook where he lived until the allegations against him emerged, is now in custody at Maghaberry.
He is due to be sentenced on all 59 counts of sex abuse on November 21.
Send to a friend
Please complete the following form to inform a friend about this page.