A FORMER SOLDIER who was discharged from the army after being injured in Afghanistan subjected a terrified women to a ” ghastly…. cruel and callous” sex attack in North Belfast.This was the fourth women Gerald Verner had physically and violently assaulted.
The judge said the 23 – year – old was a danger to women and jailed him for seven years. Judge Gemma Loughran told him his victims statement ” Is a chilling account of a ghastly experience, a very cruel and callous series of attacks by you “. She said it would be up to the parole board when and under what licence conditions he would be released under and added that he would serve an extra three years on that licence. Last month, just before his 20-year-old victim was due to take the stand Verner, from Forthriver Park in north Belfast, pleaded guilty to charges that he sexually assulated, falsely imprisoned, threatened to kill and caused actual bodily harm to the women on February 6th last year.
The court heard Friday 23rd March 2012 how he took the women prisoner in his Forthriver Park home and that during the terrifying ordeal, he sexually attacked her, threatened to kill her and punched and kicked her in the face. Verner suffered permanent hearing damage in a road side bomb in Afghanistan. In jailing Verner, Judge Loughran said he had ” violated her dignity ” and that it was a ” seriously aggravating factor ” that this was his fourth female victim, although she accepted it is Verner’s first sex crimes. She also imposed an indefinite Sexual Offences Prevention Order barring Verner from ever contacting his victim or her family, living at any address without approval, changing his personal circumstances such as address, Job or car ownership wihout prior approval or from entering a new relationship without telling his designated risk manager.
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