Belfast Telegraph

Abuse accused admits one incident with cousin

A man accused of sexually abusing his younger cousin has admitted there had been one incident which he said he was "ashamed of".

While the alleged victim claims he was abused for around 10 years between the ages of five and 15 years old, the 46-year-old defendant has counter-claimed there was only one such incident when his cousin was around 16 years old.

The man was giving evidence to Belfast Crown Court on his own behalf yesterday when he confessed to the single incident, claiming it was around "20 seconds" of mutual touching for which he was ashamed.

"I had a wife and two children, I had got drunk and done something stupid that should not have happened – it was horrible," he told defence QC Eilis McDermott.

The defendant, who cannot be named to protect his cousin, faces a total of 26 sex offences, 10 of indecent assault and 16 of committing or inciting acts of gross indecency on dates between February 18, 1986 and February 19, 1997.

It was already alleged the abuse amounted to inappropriate touching and the mutual performing of sex acts on each other, usually in the defendant's parents' home in south Belfast.

The jury also heard that initially the victim was offered £20,000 not to report the allegations to police, a figure which was increased to £175,000.

Yesterday, the defendant claimed he had not freely offered the cash but was "being blackmailed". Asked if there was "any truth" in the allegations, he said: "Apart from the one incident I said happened, there is no other incident. In my opinion the only reason that the case is here is for money."

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