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Paedophile who preyed on relatives gets 10 years

A 51-year-old man who subjected four child members of his family circle to a litany of sexual abuse and child cruelty has been jailed for 10 years.

The abuser, who admitted committing the offences in Londonderry between 1983 and 2001, cannot be named because of the nature of the offences.

His victims were two boys and two girls. One of his victims was in court and sobbed as Judge Alistair Devlin passed sentence.

The defendant pleaded guilty to one charge of attempted rape, 26 charges of indecent assault and to six charges of child cruelty.

Judge Devlin said the abuse, which involved grooming and inducements, was “violent, regular and systematic”.

He said it happened when the defendant lived in his family home and after he was put out of the home by a female relative.

The abuse included the defendant locking some of his victims in their bedroom for so long that they urinated on the floor.

It also involved him slapping and punching them, hitting them with belts and sticks and kicking one of his victims while he was wearing his steel-capped boots.

Judge Devlin read from victim impact reports which had been prepared for the court.

They stated that one of the victims had “attempted suicide several times” and added the victim “has long-term psychiatric problems”. The second victim suffered from depression and felt vulnerable.

The third victim “felt completely disadvantaged in life and was full of hopelessness in that he believed he failed to protect the other victims”.

The fourth victim has “severe and enduring mental health issues and also suffers from alcoholism”.

Judge Devlin said the defendant had “cynically abused his position of trust and power”.

The judge also said that the defendant had previous convictions for sexual offences and for violent offences.

He sentenced him to 10 years in custody followed by two years on probation.

Judge Devlin also placed the defendant on the Sex Offenders’ Register for an indefinite period and put in place a Sexual Offences Prevention Order banning the defendant from unsupervised access to children for 10 years.

He also ordered that reporting restrictions in the case would remain in place.

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