A man who was convicted of a ‘harrowing catalogue of abuse’ has been jailed for 14 years.
The 40-year-old, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his victim, was convicted of rape, attempted rape, indecent assault and incitement to commit an act of gross indecency after a trial at Derry Crown Court.
The offences were committed between January 1989 and August 1995 when the victim, the defendant’s younger sister, was aged between eight and fifteen years old.
The court heard that the first incident occurred when there was an outbreak of threadworm at the child’s school. Her brother offered to check her for this and used a cotton bud to sexually abuse her in the bathroom of their family home.
He used the excuse of checking his sister for worms on other occasions to sexually abuse her.
Passing sentence, Judge Stephen Fowler said the defendant used this as a ‘pretext and a deceit to get this child into a position to sexually abuse her and get her used to sexual activity with him’,
The court heard the abuse progressed and escalated over the six year period and became ‘the norm in her very young life’.
He forced his sister to touch him, simulated sex with her and then attempted to rape her.
The final incident of what the judge called this ‘harrowing catalogue of abuse’ was when the defendant raped his sister.
Judge Fowler said it is clear that the victim has suffered ‘extreme mental health problems as a direct result of this offending’.
He said a victim impact report provided to the court makes ‘harrowing reading’ and makes reference to suicide attempts and self-harming.
The judge added that the degree of harm caused to the victim is ‘very substantial’ and she may never recover from it.
He said the abuse was a ‘breach of trust’ because the perpetrator was someone the victim looked up to and depended on for protection.
The judge said it was an aggravating factor that it occurred in the family home, somewhere the victim should have felt safe and protected.
Judge Fowler said the 40-year-old carrried out the ‘campaign of sexual abuse with callous indifference” and he has expressed no remorse for his behaviour.
He told the court he believes the 40-year-old poses a risk to the victim and to society as a result of his denials.
Jailing the man for 14 years, the judge also ordered him to sign the sex offenders register for an indefinite period and barred him from working with children.
When he is released from custody the 40-year-old will be subject to licence conditions.