Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

Uncle jailed for abuse of niece

Seven-year ordeal began at age six

AN uncle who abused his primary school-aged niece for seven years has been jailed for a total of four-and-a-half years.

AN uncle who abused his primary school-aged niece for seven years has been jailed for a total of four-and-a-half years.

Newry Crown Court sitting in Belfast yesterday heard that the man began indecently assaulting his niece when she was six years old and he was 14.

Prosecuting lawyer David Russell told the court the man, who is now 28 and cannot be named to protect his victim, was convicted of seven charges of indecent assault between February 1991 and 1998.

He said that during the man's trial earlier this year, the jury heard evidence that he was like a brother to his victim and had been living in the same house as her when the abuse began.

The lawyer added that he was also convicted of intimidating a witness and assault occasioning actual bodily harm after a confrontation with his nephew, the brother of his victim, at a caravan in September 2004.

Defence QC Paul Ramsey told the court the man "did not accept the verdict of the jury" and that he continues to deny the abuse.

He added that the confrontation with his nephew was "not a deliberate decision to interfere with the system of justice" but was spur of the moment and a display of his "outrage at being charged with these offences".

Jailing the 28-year-old and ordering him to sign the sex offenders register "for an indeterminent period", Judge Patrick Lynch said there was "no immediate prospect of rehabilitation as you will not face up to your problem".

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