Belfast Telegraph

Belfast man who sexually abused daughter for nearly two decades has appeal rejected

By Alan Erwin

A Belfast man jailed for subjecting his daughter to a campaign of rape over nearly two decades has failed in a bid to overturn his convictions.

Described as manipulating and controlling, the 66-year-old was said to have groomed her from an early age and continued the sexual abuse well into adulthood.

In 2016 a jury found him guilty of eight counts of rape and three indecent assaults.

His lawyers challenged the safety of the convictions, based on an earlier trial having returned not guilty verdicts on alternative counts of incest.

They also claimed inconsistencies in the prosecution evidence on when and where the abuse started.

But the Court of Appeal rejected submissions that the trial process had been flawed.

The man, who cannot be identified, received a 14-year sentence at Belfast Crown Court for repeatedly raping and molesting his daughter.

He was said to have commenced abusing her when she was 14, and continued until she left Northern Ireland in her early thirties.

According to the prosecution she became trapped in a vicious cycle.

The woman gave evidence of being raped on her parents' own bed, with further abuse taking place after she moved out.

In 2013 she made a complaint to police in England about the alleged offending.

Her father insisted none of the claims were true.

His evidence was that he was a good and loving parent who had supported his daughter in troubled times.

Lawyers for the man argued that it had been an abuse of process to retry him on the original count in the indictment after he was found not guilty of incest allegations.

But Lord Justice Deeny, sitting with Lord Justice Treacy, ruled the guilty verdict was safe.

Dismissing the appeal, he added: "It is relevant to note that in this case the complainant's evidence, at least so far as a sexual relationship with her father is concerned, is supported to a degree by his own statements and the evidence of two close relatives."

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