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Former UDR man is sentenced after abusing sister in 1970s

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A former member of the UDR who admitted abusing his sister almost 50 years ago has been sentenced at Belfast Crown Court

A former member of the UDR who admitted abusing his sister almost 50 years ago has been sentenced at Belfast Crown Court

A former member of the UDR who admitted abusing his sister almost 50 years ago has been sentenced at Belfast Crown Court

A former member of the UDR who admitted abusing his sister almost 50 years ago has been sentenced at Belfast Crown Court.

As it emerged that the 67-year-old has already served 11 months in custody, Judge Piers Grant imposed that sentence, but did not return the pensioner back to prison due to time served and his ill health.

The defendant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, initially denied the charges and claimed his sister was making it up due to a family fallout.

However, these allegations made by the defendant were rejected by Judge Grant, who paid tribute to the victim's "courage and persistence."

After continual denials, the defendant subsequently pleaded guilty to three charges of indecently assaulting his younger sister in the family home in Belfast between April 1972 and December 1973.

When she went to the police in April 2014, she said that her elder brother abused her when she was between the ages of P7 and First Year at secondary school. She said the abuse occurred when he was left to babysit her and her other siblings.

The woman said her brother took her into their parents' bedroom, and that she "tried to curl up into a ball" to protect herself. She recalled two further incidents, with her brother telling her not to tell their parents.

She said what happened left her "dirty and ashamed" and that she used to dress in male clothes because she thought the abuse "would not happen if she looked like a boy".

During yesterday's sentencing, Judge Grant revealed the woman sought counselling in 2012 and became depressed just before Christmas 2013.

After finally telling her husband after keeping it a secret for years, she went to the police in April the following year.

When the defendant was arrested in July 2014, he denied abusing his sister and said that at the time he was in the UDR and would not have been at home.

He also said his sister had lied as revenge because he had informed police she was a drug dealer in the 1980s and 90s, which was "rejected entirely" by Judge Grant.

The judge said: "I'm satisfied what she has told this court is entirely true and I'm satisfied that she has been entirely vindicated in what she has said and the complaints that she has made."

Turning to the defendant - who attended yesterday's hearing in a wheelchair - Judge Grant said the Probation Board accessed him as not presenting any significant risk of harm to the public. Judge Grant said he had given careful consideration to a medical report compiled earlier this month, which outlined the defendant's significant health problems including heart disease, limited mobility, seizures and bowel issues.

Saying the pensioner "will never be fully dependent again and will remain dependent on others for the rest of his life", Judge Grant said that sending him back to prison would be "an enormous and inappropriate burden to him".

As the defendant has already served a period of 11 months, Judge Grant imposed that sentence and said "due to time served, no further custody will be imposed upon him".

Belfast Telegraph


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