Belfast Telegraph

One of Northern Ireland's youngest ever sex offenders was only 10 when he began to abuse his sisters

BY PAUL HIGGINS

One of Northern Ireland's youngest ever sex offenders, who was just 10 years old when he began to abuse his little sister, has been jailed for three years.

Jailing the 23-year-old at Londonderry Crown Court, sitting in Downpatrick, Judge Piers Grant told him his "wicked" actions as he sought "disgusting sexual gratification" had unsurprisingly blighted his sister's life and had caused her to develop an eating disorder and depression.

He told the paedophile, who agreed to undergo three years on probation after his release, that although he himself was a young man when the abuse began, it had continued up until he was 18 and had gained more maturity.

Last June, after a jury had been sworn in to hear his trial, the Derry man, who cannot be identified to protect his victims, pleaded guilty to 21 counts of indecent assault and one of inciting gross indecency against one sister and a further charge of gross indecency against his youngest sister on dates between February 17, 2000 and February 2, 2009.

The court heard how the defendant's principal victim was just eight years old when her brother began to touch her inappropriately, but that it soon escalated to him forcing her to touch him.

Judge Grant heard that the girl could remember numerous occasions when she was forced to perform a sex act on her brother but he said the most serious aspect of the case was when he had sex with his younger sibling.

The victim was around eight or nine when her brother came into her bedroom and started to touch her private parts, telling her he had been "looking forward to this all day" before having sex with her.

"She told him it was painful and to stop but he continued until he had finished," said the judge, adding that "she was so upset she ran to the bathroom where she was physically sick".

Judge Grant said the Derry man's victim said the abuse happened "pretty much" on a daily basis or when they had been left alone.

During one incident when her brother was abusing his sister in the bedroom, their youngest sister was there as well and had to watch as she performed a sex act on her then 14-year-old brother.

The now 20-year-old victim told police what had happened to her in 2011 and as a result her brother was arrested and interviewed, but denied doing anything wrong.

Judge Grant said he was sure his eventual guilty pleas were "of great comfort to each of the victims" even though it was "at a very late stage".

Jailing him, Judge Grant described his actions as "wicked".

As well as the jail and probation terms, the judge ordered him to sign the police sex offenders register, barred him from working with children and that he must disclose his convictions to any female he has a relationship with.

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