Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 22 October 2014

My father and uncle laughed as they raped me, woman tells court

'He would put his cigarettes out on me, on my back and on my stomach. He called me his ashtray'

A woman has told a court how her father and uncle laughed as they took it in turns to rape her.

The alleged victim told the court how she was sexually assaulted, beaten and had cigarettes stubbed out on her body while she was in primary school.

In the second day of the trial, the woman and her brother gave evidence against their father, uncle and a family friend who face 56 charges of physical and sexual abuse at Londonderry Crown Court sitting in Coleraine.

The woman – who is now an adult – told the court between the ages of 10 and 14 she was attacked by her father and uncle multiple times each month.

"They both took it in turns to rape me. I was crying, I asked them to stop but they laughed at me. They started doing it at the same time," she said.

She went on to say the men would film the assaults and make her watch the tapes back.

Her parents were divorced so she did not live at the property with her father – the abuse would happen when she visited.

"I didn't sleep in my bedroom any more, I slept in his bedroom," she said.

One of the defendants – her estranged father – would invite friends over to his house where they would drink, smoke, play cards and watch pornography.

On average groups of five or six men would be present –sometimes there would be as many as eight or nine individuals, the court heard.

"He would tell me to take my clothes off and sit in my corner," the woman said. "They played cards and the person with the highest number got to go first... with me."

The victim broke down in tears as she described the acts she was forced to perform.

"Sometimes they would want oral sex, and sometimes they would rape me. It would depend what they wanted."

The victim told the court of her father's alleged violence towards her. She recalled one occasion where she smashed a plate in the kitchen.

"He called me a stupid b****. He raped me and beat my head off the table," she said.

The abuse was not just sexual, the court was told.

The woman said her father would punch, kick and choke her, pull her hair and hit her with his belt.

"He would put his cigarettes out on me, on my back and on my stomach. He called me his ashtray," she added.

The victim told the court that she used to self harm with razor blades while still at primary school.

"I was so depressed I just wanted to die. When it was happening I just wanted to die but then I knew my brother would take my place and I didn't want that," she said.

The prosecution asked how she could remember what age she would have been at the time.

"My dog Max was still there, I think I was 11 when he killed Max," she said.

The abuse ended when she stopped having contact with her father at the age of 14.

In 2012 she filed a formal complaint with the police.

The trial continues.

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