I thought the 1st of April was over (is it April Fools Day)? Yeah pull the other one!
The 25-year-old served a three-month prison sentence last year for distributing an indecent image of a child.
Glentoran manager Mick McDermott says the footballer deserves an opportunity to rebuild his life and career.
A women’s group has said they are “appalled” and “disappointed” at the decision.
In June 2016, Donnelly took a photograph of a 16-year-old girl while they were having sex.
The photograph was sent to a friend and a WhatsApp group that included fellow Cliftonville players. It was then leaked and appeared on social media.
In November 2018 Donnelly admitted the charge of distributing an indecent image of a child and was sentenced to four months in jail the following year, which was later reduced to three months.
“Jay has made amends for that, he has served his time, he has apologised for it,” he said.
“He knows he made a critical mistake, a lapse in judgment at that time.
“That’s not to diminish the impact that it had on the young lady at time by no means, we have to remember there was a victim in this case.”
In a statement on the Glentoran FC website, Donnelly said he was “humbled” to be given the opportunity.
“I wish to express my complete remorse and regret at the actions that led to my conviction in 2019,” he said.
“Age and immaturity are not an excuse for an action that I now realise to have been very hurtful and damaging to the woman and her family. “
He added that he had agreed with the club to undertake “counselling and guidance on appropriate behaviour”.
Debate is only beginning
Analysis by Mark Simpson, BBC News NI
Glentoran were well aware that the signing of Jay Donnelly would provoke a debate.
When the club announced the signing on Twitter, they blocked all replies to the post.
They have sent Donnelly out on loan, and will be hoping that when he returns to Glentoran in January the controversy will have receded.
In the meantime, Donnelly is being asked by the media to agree to an interview. After his conviction in 2019, he turned down an interview request outside court.
In a statement on the Glentoran website, he said: “I can guarantee everyone both in football and society that I have learned from my mistake.”
The club are hoping that will be the end of the matter, but it seems the debate is only just beginning.
The news of the signing has sparked an angry reaction from women’s group, the Belfast Feminist Network.
It said it was “appalled” at Glentoran’s decision and “disappointed” that Donnelly would be “held up as a role model when he is anything but”.
The group also expressed anger at the wording used by the football club to announce the signing.
“Even in the midst of trying to acknowledge the hurt caused by Donnelly’s crime Glentoran has chosen to use language that plays down and makes excuses for his behaviour and attempts to shift blame on to others,” they said.
“Possessing sexual photos of anyone under 18 is a crime. Sharing that photo with any other individual is a crime.”
With many thanks to: BBCNI for the original story
LOYALIST Mark Harbinson is attempting to set up his own ‘Orange Vanguard’ to oppose the proposed Brexit trade deal that will see a border checks in Northern Ireland. Harbinson, who was once a high-profile Orangeman, is attempting to garner support for an ‘Ulster Day of Action’. The 53-year-old has been calling on loyalists to join him on September 19th, at a venue yet to be confirmed, to oppose Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal which is seen by many loyalists as a betrayal. Loyalists from various groups have been invited to meet Harbinson to plan the formation of a new group calling itself the ‘Orange Vanguard’. Harbinson has sent messages to supporters through loyalist forums and social media pages in recent weeks saying: “Keep the date free. If you don’t want an Irish Sea border you’ll want to support this.”
The controversial loyalist held an event close to his Stoneyford home on July 11th to gauge support for his plans. He was shunned by many loyalists after being found guilty of child abuse but retained a small hardcore ofsupport despite the nature of his conviction. In 2011 the Stoneyford-based loyalist was convicted of sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl he met when he was a leading member of the Pride of the Village Flute Band in Stoneyford. Because of time already spent in custody, he served two years. At his trial the jury failed to reach a verdict on five other charges including indecent assault. He was acquitted of indecently assaulting a 12-year-old schoolboy.
Harbinson was originally caught by police with the schoolgirl in his car on October 26th 2009. Police also found images of the child topless on his phone. Analysis of the handset showed more than 1,000 contacts between him and the very young victim. A once prominent member of the Orange Order, and former member of the UDR, he rose to prominence during the Drumcree dispute in Portadown. Following his conviction he was expelled from the Orange Order. In 2012 he failed to have the conviction overturned shouting “no surrender” in a courtroom outburst as the judgement was delivered.
A year later, he reinvolved himself with the flute band despite a court order banning him from having involvement with voluntary groups or charitable organisations involving children. A court heard that in May 2013, he telephoned and then wrote an email to the Parades Commission in protest at restrictions they had imposed on the flute band, signing it ‘Mark Harbinson, Pride of the Village spokesman’. The following year, he was handed a three-month suspended sentence after being found guilty of breaching a sexual offences prevention order. In July 2018 he was acquitted of firearms charges after a three-day trial. A gun, silencer and ammunition were located wrapped in yellow dusters in a biscuit tin in a woodshed in one of the outbuildings at Harbinson’s rural home in December 2015.
Luke Marriott had vile child abuse images of very young girls
A young Derbyshire paedophile who got sexual pleasure from watching a film of a six-month-old baby being raped has been spared immediate custody.
Perverted Luke Marriott was also watching sick child abuse images showing toddlers aged two-to-three years old.
More images and movies the 21-year-old downloaded involved boys aged between 10 and 12 being abused by adults.
And he was also looking at disgusting videos showing women having sex with horses and dogs.
Marriott, of Ripley, kept the images in a Dropbox account on the internet which, when he was asked about them by the police, admitted he was keeping them to share if anyone else wanted to see them.
‘Graphic and disturbing’
Sentencing him to 20 months in jail, suspended for two years, Judge Robert Egbuna said: “The images were graphic and disturbing with young children being abused in various sexual position.
“One of them was a baby who was just six months old and it is abundantly clear that child must have suffered significant pain.
At his original hearing before Christmas, prosecutor Christopher Eckersley said the offences date back to 2015 and have taken this long to come to court as the Dropbox account Marriott used was held by a Californian firm and it has taken this amount of time for the American authorities to provide Derbyshire police with a report.
He said the National Crime Agency alerted the police that the Dropbox account containing indecent images was linked to his email address.
They went to his home address in Nottingham Road, seized his devices and arrested him.
Sharing the images
Mr Eckersley said: “Significantly, he told police that he kept the images just in case anyone he was talking to on the internet asked him for them.
“129 indecent images and movies were discovered which included 81 of (the most serious) category A.”
Mr Eckersley outlined some of the films and images that were found.
He said they included a 54-second long movie of a six-month-old baby being raped.
Mr Eckersley said while under investigation for these offences, police seized Marriott’s mobile phone in July of 2018 and it again contained four further vile child abuse images of category C which is the least serious.
He pleaded guilty to four counts of making indecent images and has a previous conviction for the same offence dating back to 2014, when he was 15.
What was said for Marriott?
Marriott’s sentencing at Derby Crown Court had been adjourned so that psychiatric tests could be done on him.
They concluded he was “not dangerous” but the probation service prepared a different report which concluded he was “a high risk of harm to female children and posed a high risk of re-offending”.
Joe Harvey, mitigating, said: “Mr Marriott is a young man who had various difficulties during his formative years.
“I have no intention of airing his dirty laundry in public but his history has clearly had an impact on his social development.
“Something needs to be done to manage his risk, whether it is high or medium.
“He has a supportive family who have put an action plan in place.”
As part of the suspended sentence, Judge Egbuna attached a two-year community order which will see Marriott supervised by the probation service.
He must attend a 90-day sex offender group work programme and attend 60 rehabilitation days to address his offending.
Marriott was also handed a 10-year sexual harm prevention order and placed on the sex offenders register, also for 10 years.
With many thanks to: Derbyshire Live and Martin Naylor for the original story
Virginia Giuffre claims prince was participant in disgraced financier’s exploitation of her
An accuser of Jeffrey Epstein has alleged Prince Andrew was “an abuser, a participant” in the disgraced US financier’s exploitation of her as a teenager, in her first television interview.
Virginia Giuffre, formerly Roberts, who was pictured with Prince Andrew in a now notorious photograph, spoke to the US network TV station NBC News about her involvement with Epstein, a convicted sex offender who killed himself in a New York jail in August while facing fresh child sex trafficking charges.
The interview was due to air late on Friday night in the US but there were clips of it on the morning news shows. In them Giuffre tells how Epstein directed her to have sex with other powerful men in his orbit, including, she said, the Queen’s second oldest son, Andrew.
Giuffre has previously alleged she was recruited by Epstein when she was 15 and was coerced into sexual activity with him and associates in return for payments.
She alleged in 2011 testimony that Andrew “knows the truth” about Epstein’s abuse of underage girls and said he should be made to testify. In a December 2014 court filing she claimed she was made to have sex with Andrew, among other friends of the financier. The prince has always vehemently denied the allegations.
In 2015 a court decided that the allegations made by Giuffre about the prince were “immaterial and impertinent” and ordered them to be struck out of a defamation claim against Epstein’s friend Ghislaine Maxwell.
The prince hosted Epstein and Maxwell, a daughter of the late, disgraced British newspaper publisher Robert Maxwell. Ghislaine Maxwell has been accused of assisting Epstein’s abuse, but denies any wrongdoing.
Giuffre told NBC news anchor Savannah Guthrie about her allegation that Maxwell played a crucial role in the financier’s alleged sex trafficking racket.
She said: “The first time in London, I was so young. Ghislaine woke me up in the morning and she said, ‘You’re gonna meet a prince today.’ I didn’t know at that point that I was going to be trafficked to that prince.”
She added of Prince Andrew: “He denies that it ever happened. And he’s going to keep denying that it ever happened. But he knows the truth. And I know the truth.”
The prince has previously strongly denied any inappropriate behaviour or of being aware of any such behaviour from Epstein, in rare statements issued from Buckingham Palace. The palace pointed to those previous denials when asked about the Giuffre claims on Friday.
The prince said in a statement last month that he made Epstein’s acquaintance in 1999 and saw him once or twice each year. The prince also said he stayed at several of Epstein’s homes.
He said he did not “see, witness or suspect any behaviour of the sort that subsequently led to [Epstein’s] arrest and conviction”.
He added: “I have said previously that it was a mistake and an error to see him after his release [from prison] in 2010 and I can only reiterate my regret that I was mistaken to think that what I thought I knew of him was evidently not the real person, given what we now know.”
The prince also said: “His suicide has left many unanswered questions and I acknowledge and sympathise with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure.
“This is a difficult time for everyone involved and I am at a loss to be able to understand or explain Mr Epstein’s lifestyle. I deplore the exploitation of any human being and would not condone, participate in, or encourage any such behaviour.”
Giuffre went on to say in the TV interview on Friday, after recounting that she been woken up in London by Maxwell: “That night Prince Andrew came to her house in London. And we went out to club Tramp. Prince Andrew got me alcohol. It was in the VIP section. I’m pretty sure it was vodka.
“Prince Andrew was like, ‘Let’s dance together.’ And I was like, ‘OK.’ And we leave club Tramp. And I hop in the car with Ghislaine and Jeffrey, and Ghislaine said, ‘He’s coming back to the house. And I want you to do for him what you do for Epstein.’ I couldn’t believe it.”
Last month, lawyers for some of Epstein’s victims said Prince Andrew should give sworn testimony on “everything he knows” about Epstein, after the prince said he was appalled by Epstein’s sex crimes.
In 2008, Epstein pleaded guilty to state charges in Florida: one count of solicitation of prostitution and one count of solicitation of prostitution with a minor under the age of 18. He was sentenced to 18 months in jail, followed by a year of community control or house arrest.
With many thanks to: The Guardian and Joanna Walters in New York for the original story @joannawalters13
An invitation to scandal-hit Prince Andrew to officiate at a ceremony in Northern Ireland has been withdrawn, it has been reported.
Sky News reported that organisers withdrew an invitation to the Duke of York to the ceremony at Portrush train station, which has undergone a £5m upgrade.
The Duke has been embroiled in controversy over claims he forced a woman to have sex with him when she was 17-years-old. He denies the claims. The alleged abuse was facilitated by his late friend, the disgraced paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein, who took his own life in jail.
One of the organisers of the Portrush event expressed concerns to Sky News that the Duke’s presence would “change the narrative” surrounding their event.
However, it is believed his invite to the annual Duke Of York Young Champions Trophy at Royal Portrush Golf Club, where he is patron and where The Open was recently staged, still stands. The competition is for boys and girls under the age of 18. A palace spokesperson said Andrew will “host the tournament dinner, attend the tournament and present prizes”.
“The Duke of York has a full programme in Northern Ireland as founder of The Duke of York Young Champions Trophy. HRH will undertake a number of engagements related to the tournament, at which there will be 66 sportsmen and women from 35 countries.
With many thanks to the: Belfast Telegraph for the original story
Top-level sources insist plans for a permanent move abroad – most likely Canada – are ‘in motion’
Child killer Jon Venables is days away from being released as officials prepare to ship him abroad for good.
Top-level sources insist plans for a permanent move to another country –most likely Canada – are “in motion”.
The Daily Star Sunday has learned the James Bulger killer is being kept in a private wing in prison ahead of the move.
James Bulger killer is being kept in a private wing in prison ahead of the move
Last month we revealed how the authorities believe paying for Venables to go to a country like Canada, Australia or New Zealand would be cheaper than funding more failed new starts in the UK.
Insiders say his move is imminent, adding: “He is currently being kept quietly away from the general lot of prisoners.
‘He’ll kill again’ James Bulger’s murderer ‘set to be released from prison’
“There are a handful of people who know who he really is and where he is. It’s costing a fortune.
“The security around Venables is tight, and the thinking is he will be shipped out, probably early, from the prison when no-one is expecting it, and sent abroad.
“It’ll be a highly organised event, and probably done in the middle of the night or very early morning.”
Venables and pal Robert Thompson – both 10 at the time – snatched the two-year-old from his mum in a Liverpool shopping centre then tortured and battered him to death on a railway line.
Since walking free in 2001 he has been “outed” numerous times – even by himself – with each one leading to another costly new identity.
He was jailed again in 2010 and 2017 on child porn charges.
And this year he beat a court bid by James’ father Ralph, 52, to overturn the order, costing taxpayers £65,000. Last week, Ralph publicly warned that Venables would soon be eligible for parole and free to roam UK streets, hidden behind the mask of yet another new identity.
A source said: “Despite the murder taking place decades ago, Venables is as notorious now as he has ever been.
“And his picture, although supposed to be private, has been circulated, albeit illegally, a number of times. People who shared it have been prosecuted, but it has still made its way around and there is only so much someone can change.
“He cannot stay here. There aren’t many options.”
The Ministry of Justice has refused to speak at all about Venables’ case, and would not comment on our story.
But officers in witness protection in the past have told how those being relocated “get a say” in where they will end up.
And they tell how prisoners who are seen to have a “high level of threat” against them are sometimes sent to start a new life abroad.
With many thanks to the: Daily Star Sunday and Felicity Cross for the EXCLUSIVE original story