Sibling saw young sister ‘pinned down’ by older brother

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The brother of a man accused of raping his sister has told a court that he saw his young sister “pinned down” by the accused.

The evidence was heard in a trial at Derry Crown Court of a 40-year-old man who faces charges of ten sex offences allegedly committed between September 1, 1985, and November 24, 1999.

The brother of the accused said he was on his way up the stairs when he “heard noise” coming from a bedroom and went to investigate. He said he saw his older brother had his young sister “pinned down” before the door was “slammed shut”. “It seemed like a struggle, as if she was crying out or something,” he told the court. He said he believed his brother slammed the door. He said he observed only for “one second or two seconds” before the door was shut. He told the court that he then got “whatever” he had gone upstairs to get in the boys’ bedroom and went back downstairs.

A couple of minutes later his older brother came downstairs and “said the two of them were rowing just”, he told the court.

He said that for a while afterwards it played on his mind.

He also told the court that a house rule imposed by his parents was that the boys did not enter the girls’ room and vice versa.

He said the next time he thought about the incident was when his family called a meeting in February 2010 over the sex offence allegations made by his sister. “When they told me what happened, it was the first thing that came into my mind.” He said he called at the accused’s front door the next day and asked if the allegations were true. His brother replied “catch yourself on, she’s mad, she’s making it up,” the court was told. The witness said he urged the accused to speak to the police and tell them his “story” if he did not do it.

He told the court that he and another man drove the accused to the police station at Strand Road and “waited for a minute or two to make sure he didn’t leave”. He said that was his last contact with the accused.

Under cross examination by defence counsel, the witness accepted that he would not have come forward had he not been made aware of the allegations against his brother.

He said that after the family meeting in 2010, his sisters said they thought he “should go and tell the police” the information “as it might mean something”.

He said his relationship with his brother, who was a groomsman at his wedding and godfather to one of his children, had previously been “very good” but no relationship currently existed between them.

The trial continues.