Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 12 July 2014

Spain deaths father guilty of abuse

Martin Smith, whose wife is accused of murdering their two children in a Spanish hotel, has been found guilty of child sex offences

A man whose partner is accused of murdering their two children in a Spanish hotel is facing jail after using hypnotism and violence to groom and sexually abuse a young girl.

Martin Smith, 45, who had regular access to the girl, abused her for almost a decade from when she was aged just seven, Manchester Crown Court heard.

He has been found guilty of 11 specimen counts of rape, attempted rape, indecency with a child and indecent assault, spanning nine years from May 1995 to May 2004.

The victim, now in her 20s, told the jury Smith would attempt to hypnotise her, hit and bully her, to ensure she complied with his demands.

Smith's own daughter, Rebecca, five, and son Daniel, 11 months, were found dead in the Hotel Miramar in the resort of Lloret de Mar on the Costa Brava on May 18.

Smith had been arrested in Spain on a UK extradition warrant days earlier. Their mother, Lianne Smith, 44, is being held by Spanish police on suspicion of their murder.

During the week-long trial Miss Smith choked back tears as she gave evidence from Spain in support of her partner of 18 years.

The couple fled the UK in December 2007 after Smith had been accused of the child sex offences. Smith, originally from the North Shields, was extradited back to the UK earlier this year to stand trial.

Smith blinked but made no further reaction when the guilty verdicts to each of the 11 counts were given by the jury foreman.

Mr Justice Stephen Irwin told Smith: "Having been convicted you know that you inevitably face a long sentence in custody."

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