Six years’ jail term for man who sexually abused partner’s daughter

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A man who indecently assaulted his partner’s daughter has been jailed for six years.

The 43-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was convicted of indecent assault and four charges of gross indecency by a Derry Crown Court jury last month.

The offences were committed between September 9, 2001 and March 10, 2002.

The court heard the first offence took place when the ten-years-old girl was being looked after by the man because her mother was in hospital after suffering a miscarriage.

The 43-year-old was “drunk and crying” when he got into the child’s bed and began sexually touching her. He forced her to masturbate him and perform oral sex on him.

It was revealed that the girl left the house the following morning and didn’t return until her mother was discharged from hospital.

The court was told that over the next six months the man committed further acts of gross indecency with the child and it only stopped when her mother ended the relationship with him.

The abuse was disclosed by the girl in 2007, when she came home drunk and threatened to kill herself.

A prosecutor told the court the defendant does not accept the verdict of the jury and continued to deny the offences took place.

Defence counsel Mark Reel said this was “not unusual” in cases of a sexual nature.

He admitted the man had breached the trust of the girl and her mother by repeating his behaviour.

However, the barrister added that in the last ten years there has been no other offending behaviour and his client has moved away from the city.

Jailing the 43-year-old, Judge Stephen Fowler said there was a number of aggravating factors in the case.

He said the victim looked upon the defendant as a “father figure. She called you daddy and persisted in doing so” until she moved out of his house, he said.

The judge told the court the breach of trust was another aggravating part of the case, as well as the lengthy period of time in which the abuse took place and the fact there were “numerous incidents on a child in her young, tender years.”

Judge Fowler ordered the defendant to sign the sex offenders register for life and imposed a sexual offences prevention order.

The victim’s mother was in court for the hearing and appeared to be upset throughout.