51-year-old abused his step daughters

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A 51-year-old man who sexually abused his two step daughters took the ‘unprecedented’ step of reporting it to police himself.

The man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his victims, went to police in 2006 to report that he had abused the girls over a period of seven years.

The victims did not make a statement to police until eight years later.

At that stage the defendant was living in the Republic of Ireland and a European Arrest Warrant had to be issued for his detention.

The defendant pleaded guilty to 20 charges of indecently assaulting one of his step daughters.

He also admitted 13 charges of gross indecency towards this girl.

The defendant also admitted one charge indecently assaulting her younger sister.

All the offences were committed between December, 1990 and January, 2001.

Derry Crown Court heard the abuse of the first victim started when she was seven or eight-years-old and that abuse continued until she started university.

The second victim was abused when she was in the region of 12.

The court heard the defendant would touch his eldest step daughter in a sexual manner while she was in the bath.

He would also abuse her in the living room and bedroom of the family home and in his car.

The abuse involved touching the girl over and under her clothes and getting her to perform sexual acts on him.

The court was told this abuse took place on a daily basis over a ‘prolonged period of time.’

It was also revealed there was an element of grooming in the abuse of this girl and the man ‘treated her like a favourite.’

The 51-year-old abused the second girl by touching her in a sexual manner.

The younger girl brought the abuse to her mother’s attention in 2005. She confronted her husband and threw him out of the family home.

Six months later the defendant went to police to report the abuse. At the time the police were ‘unable to trace the victims’ and he was released pending further enquiries.

The court heard Victim Impact Reports were compiled on both complainants, who are now adults and they make ‘rather sad reading.’

The court also heard that the eldest girl ‘appears to have been fairly resilient.’

She said she did not know what should happen to the defendant as a result of his guilty plea, adding ‘he has been out of our lives for 10 years and hope he will remain so’.

The younger victim was described as ‘less resilient.’

Ciaran Mallon, Q.C., defending described his client’s decision to go to the police station and report the abuse as ‘unprecedented.’

He said the defendant has never tried to ‘underplay’ what he did and knew it was ‘very wrong.’

The barrister said the 51-year-old told police ‘I am just really sorry. I can’t turn the clock back, I wish I could.’

Mr. Mallon added that his client is ‘eager to prevent any further distress to the victims.’

Judge Philip Babington adjourned sentencing until June 20th to allow him to consider all the submissions.