Northern Ireland

Jeffrey Anderson: Suspended term for The Voice singer sex offender

Jeffrey Anderson pictured attending a court hearing in 2016 Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Anderson, who toured with Jesus Christ Superstar, admitted sexual assault, assault and secretly recording women for his own sexual gratification

A County Down singer who appeared on BBC show The Voice has been given a suspended sentence after pleading guilty to a raft of sex offences.

Last month, Jeffrey Anderson, 29, of Shore Road in Kircubbin, admitted secretly recording women for his own sexual gratification.

He also pleaded guilty to sexual assault and assault.

Speaking to the BBC, one of his victims said she was "heartbroken" at the sentence.

The charges came after he competed in two prime-time TV singing shows - Andrew Lloyd Webber's Superstar, in 2012, and The Voice in 2014.

Anderson also toured with a UK production of Jesus Christ Superstar following his appearances in Superstar.

Laganside court was told that Anderson had also performed on cruise ships, after being charged with the sexual offences.

The court was told he now wrote jingles and musical pieces for his father's advertising agency, and that work "remains open to him".

Anderson admitted recording 11 females doing a private act, knowing that they did not consent to being recorded, between April 2005 and August 2013.

The defendant admitted sexually assaulting one of his victims in 2012, and assaulting another woman, occasioning actual bodily harm, in 2015.

'Coercive and controlling manner'

The court was told that Anderson had a medical condition which led to issues with erectile dysfunction.

It was heard he had started recording the women to "help with arousal".

The judge said Anderson had acted in a "coercive and controlling manner".

He added that the victims had been "subverted by him, as a means of achieving sexual gratification".

The judge said the fact some victims had been recorded going to the toilet, "exacerbated the gross invasion of privacy".

The judge sentenced Anderson to three years in prison, suspended for three years.

He was also placed on the sex offenders register.