Alleged child rape victim ‘tortured at feeling let down by father’

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A woman who alleges she was sexually assaulted and raped by her brother as a child has told a court she believed her father walked in during an incidence of abuse.

During her evidence the victim in the trial of a 40-year-old - who cannot be named for legal reasons and who faces ten sex offences allegedly committed between September 1, 1985, and November 24, 1999 - said her belief affected her relationship with her father for years.

The court heard that years later her brother admitted that it was he who walked in to the bedroom while the accused was “lying on top of” the alleged victim. She said her view was obscured but that she recognised what she thought was the sound of her father’s keys dangling from his belt.

Derry Crown Court heard that alleged incident was one in a series of serious sexual assaults allegedly committed on the girl while she was in primary school in the city.

During cross examination, the alleged victim admitted she believed the abuse would then stop as her brother had been, as defence counsel put it, “caught out”.

She told the court she was “tortured” for years by the belief that her father had let her down.

She said it was not until 2010 that she was made aware that it was not her father who walked in during the alleged incident.

She said she did not tell anyone of the alleged abuse when she was a child because she was “afraid of what he could do next”.

She said she believes today that “none of the abuse” would have happened later had she spoken up after the first incident. She added that she did not report the abuse for so many years because she was “too embarrassed” and that people might not believe her.

When challenged by defence counsel that she had not been victim to any of the alleged abuses, she said: “Why would I make this up?” She added: “I’m only here to tell the truth”.

At the opening of the trial yesterday, the jury of seven women and five men were shown a recorded interview the alleged injured party made at the police station in 2011.

She claimed that she was sexually abused by her older brother when she was school age and alleged it happened for the first time when a letter had been sent home from school about threadworm.

The woman, who is seven years younger than the defendant, alleged her brother offered to check her for threadworm, took her into the bathroom and used a cotton bud.

The jury heard further allegations that a couple of days later the defendant offered to check his sister again and touched her again.

The woman alleged her brother would then use the excuse of checking her as a way to get her into the bathroom or bedroom.

“I always went with him and I always did what he told me,” she said in the interview.

The jury heard about further alleged incidents of abuse. There were further allegations that the man attempted to rape his sister on one occasion and raped her on another occasion.