Uncle to be sentenced for sex abuse

A man who sexually assaulted his two nieces is to be sentenced today.

The 73-year-old, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the victims, pleaded guilty to a total of 31 charges of indecent assault between January 1977 and October 1989.

Derry Crown Court heard a member of the public reported to police that the defendant had admitted abusing one of his nieces.

The victim, who is now in her 30s, was contacted by police and made a statement.

She told police she would have stayed overnight in her granny’s house where her uncle lived and the abuse started when she was four or five.

The first incident she could remember was doing what her uncle referred to as ‘see-saw’. He would hold her against him and rock back and forth.

The victim said her uncle would also take her into his bedroom, lie her on the bed and get on top of her. This happened on numerous occasions over a number of years.

The second victim also made a statement to police and revealed she was abused by her uncle from the age of five until her early teens.

She said that most of the abuse took place in his bedroom and involved something he called the ‘see-saw’. Her uncle would also lie her on his bed and rub himself against her.

Defence QC Billy McCrory told the court it is a “tragic case” for all involved - the victims and the 73-year-old defendant who has a clear record.

He added the abuse was “opportunistic. But is was wrong and it was a breach of trust”.

Adjourning sentencing until today, Judge Philip Babington said is is a “disturbing and complex case”. He released the 73-year-old on continuing bail.