Two brothers have gone on trial at the Crown Court in Londonderry charged with committing a combined total of 27 sex offences against their two sisters and their niece, the daughter of one of the sisters, over a 25-year period starting in 1978.
Such is the nature of the allegations against the two brothers that a prosecution barrister apologised to the jury of eight men and four women for outlining details of the alleged sexual abuse.
Jackie Orr QC told the jurors that “the facts, not the evidence, are both distressing and repulsive but they have to be opened to you”.
Ms Orr added that the three complainants made their allegations to police officers in the form of taped interviews last year.
They alleged they had been “subjected to a catalogue of sexual abuse when they were aged between four and nine”.
The prosecutor said the charges included rape, gross indecency with a child, indecent assault and buggery.
She said there was neither forensic nor medical evidence in the case.
Both men described the allegations as “total lies”.
The trial is expected to last three weeks.