Belfast Telegraph

Brothers on child sex charges had abused their sister

BY DONNA DEENEY

Two brothers accused of a litany of sexual and physical abuse had previously pleaded guilty to a number of sex abuse charges against their sister, Coleraine court has heard.

The two brothers and a third man face a total of 56 charges of serious sexual abuse of the son and daughter of one of the brothers. All three men deny the allegations.

In evidence agreed by the prosecution and defence, the court heard that both brothers previously admitted sexually abusing their sister between 1972 and 1982, when she was aged between four and 14.

The 27 charges in that case included gross indecency and in the case of one of the brothers, a charge of attempted rape.

In court yesterday, the mother of the alleged victims gave evidence that her daughter first confided to her in 1998 that her father had abused her, which was when social services contacted the mother and told her about the allegations made by the sister of the two men.

By this time the marriage had broken down and the pair were living apart with the mother having custody of the children but the father having access visits.

The mother told the court that at first the daughter did not say anything against her father, but when she told her daughter she would not have to see her father again, the girl then confided that her father had abused her.

The woman told the court her daughter, who was 13 at the time, said her father had touched her sexually and made her touch him.

The woman added that when she spoke to her son, he too confirmed that his father had done the same to him.

The court heard that the father of the children initially had access every weekend and sometimes during the week as well, but when he moved away to work in a different part of Northern Ireland access visits stopped for a while.

The court also heard from Dr Janet Hall, a Forensic Medical Officer who said she examined the female alleged victim for the first time in July 2012 and for a second time in July 2013.

In her evidence, Dr Hall said there was a number of small circular scars on the abdomen about 4mm in size which were consistent with "either chicken pox or cigarette burns" and that there were 2mm scars on her back which were similar. These, along with two scars on the alleged victim's abdomen, were visible to the naked eye, as were a collection of veins on her left leg, which according to Dr Hall could have been "present from birth or the result of localised trauma".

The trial continues.

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