Mother tells trial daughter claimed principal took photos of her on bed

The trial of a principal of a special needs school accused of rape and sexual assault charges today heard from the mother of the woman making the allegations.

Michael Dobbins.
Michael Dobbins.

The mother said her daughter told her how she had been naked on the man’s bed and he had allegedly taken photographs of her.

Michael Dobbins (54) of Greenhaw Road in Derry is charged with six counts of rape, three counts of sexual assault and one count of sexual activity with a female who by reason of a mental disorder could not consent.

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All of the offences are alleged to have occurred on dates between January 1, 2013 and February 23, 2015.

Derry Crown Court heard the alleged victim’s mother giving evidence of her daughter’s medical condition, saying she was ‘child like’ and could not understand many ordinary concepts.

She said her daughter was ‘a very happy, loving child’ and that in the intervening years her daughter had come on a bit and was ‘a bit more independent’ now.

The mother was asked did she have conversations with her daughter as to what was alleged to have happened with Dobbins.

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She said that her daughter had told her Dobbins had taken her in his car where he allegedly asked her to perform a sexual act on him.

The woman said her daughter claimed that on another occasion Dobbins had brought her to his home and said they were going to ‘play a game’. During the game she claimed he had felt her breasts while she stood at a sink in the kitchen.

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The witness told the jury that her daughter claimed Dobbins had taken her to his bedroom where she described the bed as having a white headboard and two lockers beside it. The woman said her daughter told her that she had been naked on the bed and Dobbins had taken photographs of her using an iPad. She also claimed that Dobbins had performed a sexual act on her while there.

The jury also heard that the woman had made allegations of an incident in a classroom at the school. The mother said her daughter would have had no ‘knowledge of sex’ but said she did find pornography on her iPad but did not know how it came there as the woman could not read or write and could not search for it.

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She accepted her daughter was ‘infatuated’ with Dobbins and added ‘there was no one on the planet like Michael Dobbins’.