TAXI DRIVER SENTENCED FOR ATTACK ON SCHOOLGIRL
‘During police interviews the taxi driver claimed nothing had happened.
A TAXI driver who sexually molested a teenage schoolgirl after telling her she had “nice legs” has been jailed for a year. As well as ordering William Torbitt (39) to spend two years on supervised licence conditions, Belfast Crown Court Judge Gordon Kerr QC also ordered him to sign the the police sex register for the rest of his life.
The judge had earlier heard how Torbitt collected the girl from her school on February 13 and was taking her to a medical appointment when the incident happened. Rosemary Walsh, prosecuting, recounted how Torbitt told the girl she “must do PE because you have nice legs” and then he asked her to move her blazer so that he could see them. He then reached over and touched the girl. Torbitt, from Mayfield Heights in Newtownabbey, had also twice asked the girl what age she was told twice that she was 14. Following the attack Torbitt took the girl to her appointment where she reported what happened. Torbitt was then arrested later that day. During police iinterviews the taxi driver claimed nothing had happened, maintain that stance even when DNA evidence of the girl’s DNA profile was uncovered under his finger nails and that was put to him. However, he later pleaded guilty to a single charge of sexual activity with a child. A defence lawyer said the married father-of-two had suffered a a “moment of madness” for which he was already paying a heavy price in terms of the loss of his reputation, job, liberty and marriage.
With many thanks to : Irish News.
- Newtownabbey Taxi Driver Jailed Over Teen Girl Sex Attack (belfastdaily.co.uk)
- Man appears in court accused of sexually assaulting schoolgirl (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
- Social workers apologise for not protecting schoolgirls (itv.com)
Brian Shivers launches Massereene legal challenge
A terminally ill man jailed for murdering two soldiers at Massereene Army base in Antrim has launched a legal bid to overturn his conviction
Brian Shivers has lodged papers to appeal the verdict that he was guilty of murdering Sappers Mark Quinsey, 23, and 21-year-old Patrick Azimkar.
His legal team claim he was wrongly punished and want an urgent hearing due to his severe medical condition.
The victims were shot by the Real IRA as they collected pizza in March 2009.
The shootings were carried out hours before the soldiers were due to be deployed to Afghanistan.
Shivers, 46, from Magherafelt, County Londonderry, was ordered to serve a minimum 25 years in prison after being convicted last month of the killings.
He was also found guilty of six counts of attempted murder and one of possession of two firearms and ammunition with intent to endanger life.
His co-accused, Colin Duffy, a 44-year-old republican from Lurgan, County Armagh, was acquitted of all charges, including the two murders.
It emerged during the trial that Shivers suffers from cystic fibrosis and has only a few years to live.
He was found guilty on the strength of a DNA link to matches found in the car used in the attack and then set alight.
Shivers was also found to have lied about his whereabouts and actions on the night of the murders.
‘Prominent and essential role’The judge who convicted him accepted that he played a lesser role than the gunmen and driver of the Cavalier used in the attack.
But he stated that in setting fire to the vehicle Shivers “played a prominent and essential role in this carefully planned and ruthlessly executed crime”.
Shivers’ solicitor, Niall Murphy, of Kevin R Winters and Co, confirmed on Wednesday that an appeal against conviction was lodged this week.
He said: “We have further petitioned the Court of Appeal that it should be listed with as much expedition as is possible given our client’s severe medical condition.”
Explaining the reasons for mounting the challenge, Mr Murphy added: “We have petitioned the court in our grounds of appeal that the trial judge erred in law by misdirecting himself.
“Mr Shivers was wrongly convicted and punished since no conduct of his could constitute the offences of which he has been convicted.”
With Many Thanks To, BBC News
Duffy says DNA was planted in getaway car
A man cleared of murdering two soldiers in Northern Ireland in 2009 has claimed his DNA was planted in the getaway car.
A prominent Republican has said his DNA was planted on a latex glove in a getaway car used in the murder of two British soldiers in Antrim in 2009.
Colin Duffy, 44, was cleared yesterday of murdering Sappers Mark Quinsey and Patrick Azimkar outside Massereene army base.
Mr Duffy told a news conference in west Belfast today that the charges against him were “spurious” but refused to condemn dissident republicans.
His co-accused Brian Shivers was handed a life sentence after a judge found him guilty of being part of the attack.
Mr Duffy said: “I am firmly of the view that my DNA arose there because it was planted. I was never in that car.
“I state quite categorically here that I had no involvement in what happened at Massereene, no involvement whatsoever, and that has been vindicated in court because there was no credible evidence to suggest otherwise.”
He said that if being a dissident meant opposing Sinn Féin‘s peace strategy then he was happy to classify himself as such.
He added that he had no questions to answer.
“I did not need to answer to the spurious evidence or so-called evidence that they were adducing at the trial,” he said.
“The decision not to give evidence was a decision that we took on the basis of my view legally of how the case was going.”
- Free Colin Duffy – End the Show Trial !! (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Accused an ‘unlikely terrorist’ (bbc.co.uk)
- Massereene trial hears about DNA (bbc.co.uk)
- McGlinchey ‘was getaway driver’ (bbc.co.uk)
- Republican’s son ‘in getaway car’ (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
Brian Shivers guilty of Massereene murders
Brian Shivers has been found guilty of murdering two British soldiers outside Massereene Barracks in 2009 – co-accused Colin Duffy was earlier found not guilty.
Brian Shivers has been found guilty of murdering two British soldiers outside Massereene Barracks in Antrim in 2009.
Prominent dissident republican Colin Duffy was earlier acquitted of the murders.
Sappers Patrick Azimkar from London and Mark Quinsey from Birmingham were killed outside Massereene Barracks on 7 March 2009.
Four others, including two pizza delivery men, were seriously injured in the attack, for which the Real IRA claimed responsibility.
Mr Duffy, 44, and Shivers, 46, denied having any involvement in the attack.
The evidence against Shivers centred on DNA which was discovered on a mobile phone and matches linked to the getaway car.
During his trial his lawyers described him as an “unlikely terrorist”.
The 46-year-old, who has cystic fibrosis, told the court he had a limited life span and had been told by a doctor that he only had a few years left to live.
Handing down the judgment in Belfast Crown Court Mr Justice Anthony Hart said Shivers lied about his actions on the night of the attack.
The judge said the presence of his DNA on the Nokia phone was further evidence of his involvement in the getaway car.
Shivers was sentenced to life in prison.
Colin Duffy acquitted
Mr Duffy, from Forest Glade in Lurgan in Armagh, was cleared of all charges by Mr Justice Anthony Hart this morning.
Judge Anthony Hart told the court he was satisfied that Duffy’s DNA was found on a latex glove tip inside the car – and on a seat buckle – but he said the prosecution had failed to link the defendant to the murder plot.
He said “all the evidence” suggested Mr Duffy was present in the getaway car wearing latex gloves at some point between the time it was bought and the time it was used in the attack.
But the judge said that suspicion that the car was going to be used in a criminal act was not enough to convict Mr Duffy.
The judge described the attack as “ruthless and determined”. He said one of the gunmen had reloaded his weapon at the scene and that a number of the victims were shot as they lay injured on the ground.
Following Mr Duffy’s acquittal, Mr Justice Hart cleared the court of a number of cheering supporters.
Before the judgments were handed down, the parents of one of the two murdered soldiers spoke of their son’s love for Northern Ireland.
Speaking from their home in England earlier this week, Mehmet and Geraldine Azimkar said Patrick wanted to build a life there when his time in the military was over.
The Azimkars said their son had wanted to become a carpenter and joined the British Army in the hope of gaining skills in a trade.
Statement from 32CSM DERRY
The verdict delivered in the trial of Colin Duffy and Brian Shivers yesterday is an indictment of British courts in Ireland. This trial from the outset was a show trial attempting to secure a guilty conviction against Republicans. The failure of the PSNI to apprehend those who were involved in the attack led them to try and frame these two men. We welcome the fact that Colin Duffy was a…cquitted as it was the only realistic verdict to reach given the total lack of credible evidence. However Brian Shivers, a man with a terminal illness has now been made a scapegoat for the failure of the PSNI. The sentence imposed upon Brian is in effect a death sentence and a gross violation of the due process of justice. Both these men were denied the right to trial by a jury and instead had to face the prospect of a British judge being the sole authority. These courts are now being used as a tool of repression against all those who take a stand against the status quo.The internment of Marian Price on trumped up charges continues and the prisoners continue to be beaten and harassed by prison officers before their appearances in these diplock courts. We urge all Republicans and human rights advocates to stand behind Brian and his family, and those who remain interned in Maghaberry. To remain silent in the face of such violation of human rights is to acquiesce to it.
Posted on Behalf of : Derry Sceal
- Free Colin Duffy – End the Show Trial !! (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Massereene lawyer’s ‘arrest’ row (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Massereene DNA evidence allowed (mirror.co.uk)
- Massereene judge to rule on DNA (bbc.co.uk)
Friends Of Colin Duffy
Judgement to be given in “No Bill” application
A judgement is expected to be given tomorrow, 17th June 2011, in relation to Colin and Brian’s “no bill” application. On the 5th May 2011 Colin and Brian’s barristers argued that charges against the men should be dismissed because the Crown case is so weak.
Defence QC Barry Macdonald argued that as the only evidence against his client Colin Duffy (43) was DNA uncovered on a rubber glove found in a partially burnt-out car, there was nothing to suggest he was part of a murder plan.
Kieran Vaughan, who represents Brian Shivers, argued that the case against his client should also be dismissed as the 45-year-old’s DNA — uncovered on matches and a mobile phone inside the same car — did not point to his involvement in the murders.
Lodging the ‘no bill’ application at Belfast Crown Court, lawyers argued that the items in the car could have been put there at any time since the car was bought three weeks before the killings. They submitted that items could have been there for numerous reasons.
“Evidence suggesting contact with the car doesn’t point to that conclusion,” said Mr Macdonald.
“It is capable of multiple conclusions and therefore doesn’t come into the category of a compelling circumstantial case pointing to only one reasonable conclusion.”
At that time Mr Justice McLaughlin put to Mr Mooney (prosecution QC) that there was the possibility the pair could be guilty simply of assisting offenders. The barrister replied: “I cannot rule that out.”
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