(BELFAST,N.I.) Laganside Court Report: Tommy Harris was sentenced to 16 years, 8 years in prison and 8 on licence, for a number of historical sexual abuse offences against a child. Mr Harris will also be placed on the sex offenders register for life #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Nov.09: Choosing to waive her anonymity, Haileigh Lamont has bravely spoken out about her experience. Haileigh, now 30, was abused by stepfather Harris for over a decade.

#AceDailyNews Court Report: Man faces 16 year sentence for a number of ‘historical sexual abuse’ offences that started when the victim was 7 years old, into her late teens…..

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Speaking today, Ms Lamont said:

“Since July 2020 when I reported Tommy to the police this case has taken over my life. My relationships, my job, my home, my mental and physical health, my time and my privacy have all been sacrificed. I’ve had to articulate on abuse that I never wanted to share with anyone. To say this has been distressing is an understatement, it has been a war and today – I am victorious. Tommy initially denied that my report was true, he entered not guilty pleas and pushed back to have charges dropped but I fought to expose him and have him convicted of all the charges because they represented my suffering. Knowing what I know about the justice system and how agonising it has been at times, would I do it all again? Without a doubt. You can’t do what he did to me and get away with it, there are consequences. I am ready to live my life free from this and am immensely proud of myself.”

The Police Service of Northern Ireland worked collaboratively with the Public Prosecution Service to build a robust prosecution case.

Detective Superintendent Gary Reid from Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Public Protection Branch said: “Haileigh has showed immense fortitude and determination in bringing her abuser before the courts to answer for his crimes: The bravery she has shown, accompanied with today’s sentencing, I hope will encourage others who have experienced any form of sexual abuse to come forward and contact the police. It is never too late to make a report: I can’t even begin to imagine how difficult it must be for someone to report historical sexual abuse, but we are here, whenever you are ready, to help and support you every step of the way: We have a team of dedicated detectives who will robustly investigate reports and who remain determined to bring anyone involved in any form of abuse before the courts to answer for their crimes, no matter when they occurred.”You can report to the police by calling 101 or reporting online. In an emergency always call 999. Once you’ve made a report, you don’t have to come into a police station, detectives can arrange to meet you at a time and place that best suits you.

Victim Support NI has supported Haileigh throughout her journey through the criminal justice system. She was able to avail of specialist advocacy support from an Independent Sexual Violence Advocate (ISVA) and get specialist legal advice and support from a Sexual Offences Legal Advisers (SOLA) within the organisation. Victim Support NI can support child and adult victims of sexual violence and abuse, regardless of how long ago the crime took place and whether or not the crime was reported to police.

Detectives from the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Organised Crime Unit welcome sentencing

Detectives from the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Organised Crime Unit have welcomed the sentencing of a man at Laganside Crown Court earlier today, Friday, 5 November.

44-year-old Luong Bui was sentenced to a total of 15 years and will serve 7 ½ years in prison and 7 ½ years on licence. 12 years imprisonment for cultivating cannabis, 6 years imprisonment for assisting illegal immigration (to run consecutively), 4 years imprisonment for abstracting electricity (to run consecutively) and 3 years imprisonment for perverting the course of justice (to run concurrently).  

The sentencing follows a police investigation into the largescale cultivation of cannabis when a number of premises were searched in the Comber, south Belfast, Lisburn and Coalisland areas.

Detective Inspector Kelly said: “The Police Service of Northern Ireland is committed to both preventing drugs from ending up in local communities and to pursuing those intent on destroying lives through the supply of illicit drugs”.

“Drug dealers seek to make profit at the expense of causing harm and loss; they don’t care about the damage they cause, preying on the most vulnerable members in our communities”.

“Under Operation Dealbreaker we are determined to disrupt their activity and anyone involved in the drugs trade, or anyone tempted to become involved, should be under no illusion – we will seek to identify them, arrest them and place them before the courts”.  

“I would appeal to anyone with information regarding the supply of illegal drugs to contact police on the non-emergency number 101.”

Alternatively, information can be provided to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org   

To anyone who thinks they might have a problem with alcohol and/ or drugs and would like to get help please visit www.drugsandalcoholni.infofor information on support services near you.

There is also a range of services available if you are affected by someone else’s drinking and/or drug misuse. Information on these services is also available on this website. These services are available to you regardless of whether or not your loved one is receiving help for his or her alcohol and/ or drug problem.”

If you, or someone you know would like to seek help, you can find out more at www.victimsupportni.com or contact info@victimsupportni.org.uk. You can also contact them at one of their two Hubs in Belfast 028 9024 3133, or Foyle 028 7137 0086

The Domestic and Sexual Abuse Helpline is free and confidential and operates 24/7.  It can be contacted on 0808 802 1414

The Assist NI service provides advocacy support to qualifying victims of sexual or domestic abuse engaging with the justice system and can be reached on info@assistni.org.uk

#AceNewsDesk report ……………Published: Nov.09: 2021:

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