Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Aine Adams 'wanted to spare mother'

Liam Adams denies 10 counts of child sex abuse

A niece of Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams did not reveal the full extent of alleged sex abuse to which she was subjected to spare her mother's feelings, she has told a court.

Aine Adams, who has waived her right to anonymity, said claims that her father raped and abused her from the age of four had left her mother heartbroken and she did not want to cause further anguish.

Liam Adams, 57, from Bernagh Drive in west Belfast, denies all 10 counts of child sex abuse including rape, indecent assault and gross indecency with a child.

Ms Adams, 40, said although they were among the most vivid in her memory, when she first reported the abuse in 1987 she did not tell police about specific incidents including a rape allegedly carried out while her mother was giving birth to her younger brother, Connor.

"I have never told my mummy the details of what happened. It would be hard for any mother - they are in giving birth, and their husband is raping their daughter. And to spare her feelings in general," Ms Adams said.

In January 1987 Ms Adams was accompanied by her mother to Grosvenor Road police station where she reported the alleged child abuse. She returned on at least three other occasions - to make a statement; for a medical examination and later to retract her allegations.

She omitted to tell police about another rape said to have occurred when her mother fled their home in the Lenadoon area of west Belfast after a violent row.

"If she wasn't there to protect me, my mummy would feel bad about that. As a 13-year-old, not as a 40-year-old, I thought I was doing the right thing. Rightly or wrongly in 1987 that was my reasons," she added.

During cross examination, defence barrister Eilis McDermott QC put it to the witness that the rapes were not reported because they had not happened. "I suggest that that did not take place," Ms McDermott said.

The trial at Belfast Crown Court was told that Ms Adams had felt compelled to speak out because Liam Adams was living with a new partner and their young daughter in Co Donegal.

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