Jonathan Bermingham – Repeat Sex Offender – Begs for Castration

A TEENAGER who has been on the sex offenders’ register since he was only 13 asked for “chemical castration” to stop him attacking young boys, a court heard yesterday.

Jonathan Bermingham – who likes to be known as Jonathan Ross – comes from a notorious family of sex offenders.

At the High Court in Edinburgh he was jailed for life for the rape of a boy playing truant from school, after luring him into woods in Falkirk. Even Ross’s lawyer said the case was “in a league of its own”.

The judge had earlier ordered Ross, 19, to be locked up five years ago for a similar attack on a nine-year-old.

Ross’s father, John Bermingham, carried out two sex attacks within an hour of each other and was jailed for 12 years.

He was released last year after serving half the term and is now fighting an order banning him from buses that might be carrying school children.

Ross’s brother has been convicted of attempting to rape a 17-year-old girl.

Frances McMenamin QC, defending Ross, said: “If the courts were to look for some explanation for why Ross finds himself in court today one does not have to delve very deeply.”

The lawyer said Ross had grown up in “a highly sexualised environment” and had never learned appropriate sexual behaviour.

Ms McMenamin said he genuinely recognised he had problems controlling his sexual urges. “Ross himself has raised the issue of whether what he calls chemical castration might be helpful to him.”

The lawyer said Ross recognised what the sentence would be “because of the gravity of the offence and because of the whole background in this case, which, I think it has to be recognised, is in a league of its own”.

Ross had previously admitted serious sexual assault on 12 June last year. Judge Lord Uist told him then that he remembered their previous meeting and ordered a psychologist’s report on the dangers Ross poses to the public.

When Ross returned to court for sentence yesterday, Lord Uist told him the report concluded that Ross would be “highly likely” to commit serious sexual offences against young males, leaving them physically and psychologically harmed.

The judge gave Ross a life sentence and ordered him to serve at least four-and-a-half years.

Advocate depute Iain McSporran, prosecuting, told how a 14-year-old boy was playing truant from school when Ross approached him in a park at Glenfuir Road, Falkirk.

“The accused gave the impression of also being a schoolboy playing truant, saying he didn’t want to hide there because the police would find him and that he would show him a better place to hide.”

They walked away together, jumped a wall, crossed the canal and climbed a bank to bushes.

Ross then grabbed the younger boy, and when the shocked boy began to shout for help, he told him: “Shout and you’re dead.” He then sexually assaulted him.

The 14-year-old boy now suffers from post traumatic stress disorder, the court heard.


WHEN Jonathan Bermingham, or Ross, was put on the sex offenders register for life he was following in the footsteps of his father.

John Bermingham, who is 42, was jailed for 12 years in 2001 for two attacks on girls. He is now challenging an order which bans him from buses which may carry children.

Bermingham claims the order is contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights guaranteeing the right to “respect for family and private life”.

The Bermingham family seems to know very little about a peaceful family life. Defence lawyer Francis McMenamin said Jonathan grew up in a “highly sexualised environment”, which had made it difficult for him to learn appropriate sexual behaviour. One of his brothers is also in jail while his uncle is serving life for killing a 21-year-old woman.

“25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years”
………Sarah Tofte

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