A married Co Down couple who admitted sexually abusing a toddler have been warned by a judge they face being handed “significant sentences”.
Gary and Heather Talbot, were told by Judge Piers Grant on Thursday that their case involved very serious offences in which they had betrayed the trust of a very young child and that it was only realistic for them to expect to be given significant jail terms when sentenced next month.
In May last year, the paedophiles from the seaside town of Newcastle, pleaded guilty to a series of sex offences, committed between 2001 and 2003 against the child then aged 18 months to when she was three years and three months.
The 60-year-old postman and bus driver, admitted a total of 16 charges including two rapes, gross indecency, indecent assault, and taking and distributing indecent images of the child, and a seperate charge of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old teen sometime between July 2012 and July 2014.
His 59-year-old wife Heather admitted ten charges, including aiding and abetting her husband to rape the little girl, indecently assaulting her, committing acts of gross indecency, in addition to three charges of taking indecent images of the youngster.
Both sat in the dock just yards from their now grown-up victim, sitting in the public gallery supported by family and friends.
At one stage Gary Talbot, who listened to the details of his crimes with eyes closed shut, appeared to shake his head from side to side in apparent denial, while his wife kept looking to the side, her eyes cast down.
Lawyers for the depraved pair told Downpatrick Crown Court, sitting in Belfast, that little could be said in their mitigation, save their guilty pleas, demonstrative of their remorse and shame, and for which they were entitled to credit in determining their ultimate sentence.
- WATCH: Sharon O'Neill has more details from court, some of which you may find disturbing