Man accused of sex assaults on three young girls

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A 57-year-old man has gone on trial at Derry Crown Court accused of sexually assaulting three young girls.

The man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the alleged injured parties, denies a total of 22 charges between January 1, 1981 and December 31, 1994.

They include one charge of attempted rape, sixteen charges of indecent assault and five charges of gross indecency.

The jury of eight men and four women today heard that one of the complainants is the defendant’s sister-in law, while the other two complainants are his nieces.

It is alleged the offences occurred when the first complainant was aged between seven and 13-years-old; when the second complainant was aged between seven and ten-years-old; and when the third complainant was aged between four and eight-years-old.

Opening the trial to the Derry Crown Court jury, prosecution QC Jackie Orr told the jurors that “some of the language and some of the descriptions given by the complainants which you will hear may be be distasteful to you.”

However she warned them they must not allow “sympathy or prejudice to enter into your deliberations in the case”.

She told the jury it was the prosecution case that once they had heard all the evidence “you will be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt the defendant is guilty of each and every count on the bill of indictment”.

The trial is expected to last two weeks.