Jury hears allegations of ‘repeated’ abuse

A 42-year-old man has gone on trial at Derry Crown Court charged with raping and indecently assaulting a 6-year-old girl.

The man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the alleged victim, faces a total of 18 charges alleged to have occurred between May 1995 and May 2004.

These include three counts of rape and 15 counts of indecent assault against the girl, which were alleged to have started when she was six.

Opening the case, prosecuting counsel Philip Mateer QC said the girl would have been in the care of the man at two addresses in Derry when the offences allegedly happened.

He told the jury of seven men and five women they would hear evidence of how the man ‘repeatedly’ abused the girl and raped her.

Mr. Mateer said there would be evidence of the defendant making the alleged victim drink alcohol and when she fell asleep she would wake up with the man raping her.

The jury was also told that on one occasion the man’s wife had entered the bedroom where the man was attempting to abuse the girl, pushed him out and moved the child into her own bed.

Mr Mateer told the twelve jurors that the abuse stopped in 2004, but it was 2009 before the girl felt able to reveal any details of what had happened.

The man who is a resident in the Republic of Ireland was arrested by the Gardai and questioned about the allegations , however he denied them.

The trial is expected to last until next week.