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He avoided justice for 50 years until victim spotted him in bar

By Deborah McAleese

It is one of the worst cases of child abuse that the PSNI and the courts have come across in many years.

Two young sisters were subjected to several years of rapes, assaults and cruelty at the hands of their paedophile uncle.

For five decades he escaped justice, until one of his victims spotted him in a Belfast bar and became so distraught that she contacted police and told them of his crimes. So horrific was the abuse the two girls suffered that their attacker, who is now aged 75, was yesterday jailed for 20 years - one of the longest prison terms handed down by the courts in Northern Ireland for rape.

Despite his brutal crimes his identity has been protected by a court order banning the media from identifying him in any way.

The sisters were only six years old when their uncle began to rape, indecently assault and violently beat them.

The abuse began in 1964 and continued for more than a decade. His victims were too afraid of him to ever report their abuse. It was not until August, 2011 that one of his victims spotted him in a bar and became so angry that she punched him.

The police were called and when officers arrived she told them he had raped her as a child.

He was immediately arrested and brought before the courts charged with a string of offences including rape, indecent assault, gross indecency and cruelty. Sentencing him yesterday at Belfast Crown Court, Judge Patricia Smyth said his crimes were "the most horrific this court has ever had to deal with".

Detective Chief Inspector Alan Little, of the PSNI's Public Protection Unit, said: "We hope that it brings some form of closure for the victims."

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