A Gilford pensioner who sexually assaulted a child when he was in his early sixties has been handed a supervised treatment order due to his advanced staged dementia.
Samuel Boyce, of Locard Park, was charged with rape, two counts of sexual assault and sexual assault of a child under 13.
However, due to his health, he was unable to stand trial. Nonetheless, the court came to the verdict that Boyce – who has previous – committed the acts he was charged with.
All of the offences were committed on a single female injured party at various stages over a number of years.
During a sentencing hearing at Newry Crown Court on Tuesday, Dr Adrian East told His Honour Judge Gordon Kerr KC that due to Boyce’s advanced staged dementia, “he is not a candidate for any other risk reduction work that we could have offered in another case”.
And he added: “I simply don’t believe he’s capable of understanding, retaining and processing information that would enable him to engage in any such programme.”
Dr East added: “He no longer has the mental capacity to seek out, and implement, an offence such as these [he has been found guilty of].”
The prosecution, quizzing Dr East, asked: “Does he require a mental capacity to carry out a sexual offence, or is it something that may be latent within him, that he, in a disinhibited way, might still want to engage in?”
Dr East replied: “Certainly, a sexual touch; something of a relatively low grade would absolutely be consistent, and would be something that we need to care plan very carefully for, particularly when we start talking about future nursing placements. We will have to think very carefully about safety of other residents and the safety of the staff, but we are talking about relatively low grade offences.
“The idea that a man with an advanced dementia could create the circumstances for a more serious sexual offence is unlikely.”
He continued: “I believe the dementing illness is now so prominent….it’s been my experience in cases of such advanced dementia that actually, the likelihood of any future offending, is really quite low.”
Judge Kerr handed Boyce a supervision treatment order with the supervision aspect lasting three years.
In addition, Boyce was given a sexual offences prevention order (SOPO) for 10 years.
The Southern Health and Social Care Trust will take charge of Boyce’s treatment and supervision.